Oil for development: Norad to assist Burma
A recent seminar in Burma marked the start of formal cooperation between the Norwegian Oil for Development Programme and the Burmese government.
The aid agency Norad received a request from Burmese authorities earlier this year for assistance in the management of petroleum resources. The government is currently inviting international oil companies to apply for licenses.
“The political leadership at the Foreign Ministry and the ministries participating in the Oil for Development Programme were of the opinion that it was right to support Burma now,” says Petter Stigset, head of the programme.
Participants at the seminar from the Norwegian side included the Oil Directorate, the Environment Ministry, the Environment Directorate, the Oil Directorate, the Finance Ministry and the Petroleum Safety Authority. The purpose of the seminar was to discuss possible areas for future cooperation.
According to Stigset, there is a need for assistance in several areas, such as the development of laws and regulations, governance systems for security risks, standards for the release of dangerous chemicals, data management systems and auditing of oil companies.
“It will be important for the Oil for Development Programme to prioritise among all the areas that were identified at the seminar, and to coordinated our interventions with other actors,” Stigset says.
He underlines the importance of engaging both parliament and civil society in the process.