Workshop discusses fiscal and regulatory regime of upstream petroleum sector


More than 40 delegates from PetroSeychelles, the National Assembly, the civil society as well as representatives from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and the Commonwealth secretariat attended the workshop.

The workshop followed a request made by the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Investment to the IMF and the World Bank for help in reviewing Seychelles’ current fiscal and regulatory regime for the upstream petroleum sector.

In his opening address, Finance, Trade and Investment Minister Pierre Laporte indicated that the evaluation of the current legal framework and fiscal regime of the upstream petroleum sector in Seychelles is timely considering the planned promotion of offshore petroleum exploration in Seychelles in the first quarter of 2013.

“It is often said that finding oil in one’s country may be a mixed blessing. Therefore, it is wise that if government decides to embark on such venture, it must regularly pause to evaluate its current position; see what is contemporary; learn from the mistakes of others; and adjust and modernise its regulatory framework and fiscal regime so as to obtain the best for its people in case of commercial discovery,” said Minister Laporte.

The workshop included presentations by representatives of the IMF, World Bank and Commonwealth secretariat on various aspects of the fiscal package for upstream petroleum activities, the award process for petroleum agreements and the review of the Seychelles model petroleum agreement.
This was followed by discussions among the various stakeholders that led to a series of recommendations.

Delegates at the workshop highlighted the need for the fiscal and regulatory regime for the upstream petroleum activities in Seychelles to take into consideration the specificities of Seychelles as a small island developing state (Sids), be attractive enough to foster exploration investment while ensuring reasonable revenues for the state.

Other issues emphasised on at the workshop include the need to build the capacity of Seychellois nationals for the upstream petroleum sector and how environmental risks could be effectively addressed in this sector.

The delegates were also informed of the various aspects of the promotional campaign on offshore petroleum exploration in Seychelles that is due to start in 2013.

In his closing remarks, Ambassador Barry Faure, chairman of PetroSeychelles, invited all stakeholders to play a proactive role in assuring the effective implementation of the various recommendations made during the workshop.