Gas exploitation license in Cameroon is instituted by Law No. 2012/006 of 19th April 2012 instituting the gas code. This gas exploitation regulation has limited the gas exploitation process in Cameroon or the steps to exploit gas in Cameroon to the downstream gas sector which comprises of processing, storage, transportation, distribution, importation, exportation, and marketing of natural gas and its by-products within the national territory.
According to the scope of the gas exploitation License in Cameroon, exploiting natural gas in Cameroon is viewed within the scope of promoting the development of the downstream gas sector in Cameroon. In this regard, the gas exploitation regulation in Cameroon is aimed at;
- Creating an enabling legal framework for promoting the development of gas resources,
- Setting up an attractive gas sector environment for private, national and foreign investors,
- Creating an enabling environment for the use of local human, material and industrial resources in every gas resource enhancement project,
- Guaranteeing the safety of facilities, and
- promoting environmental protection.
The gas exploitation regulation in Cameroon also provides that all-natural gas discovered within the national territory of Cameroon shall be developed following a gas resource development plan prepared and updated by the state or a public body duly authorized for that purpose. Such a development plan shall give priority to meeting domestic needs. It shall further specify other future steps to exploit gas in Cameroon, gas development priorities, and orientations as well as resource allocation between natural gas domestic and export projects. Gas companies shall be bound to comply with the guidelines and priorities as well as the resource allocation set forth in the plan subject to the provision of an agreement for gas exploitation license in Cameroon.
GAS EXPLOITATION PROCESS IN CAMEROON
The gas exploitation regulation in Cameroon has defined the gas exploitation process as gas liquefaction, petrochemical, and gas chemical operations. It has further defined gas, liquefied petroleum gas, and hydrocarbons
- Gas: according to the gas exploitation protocol in Cameroon has been defined as gaseous hydrocarbons as found in their natural state otherwise referred to as natural gas or resulting from hydrocarbons refining operations as well as all related products and substances extracted.
- Liquefied petroleum gas: hydrocarbons composed essentially of a mixture of butane and propane which is not liquid under normal conditions according to the gas exploitation protocol in Cameroon.
- Hydrocarbons: it is defined by the gas exploitation protocol in Cameroon as liquid gaseous compounds found in their natural state, otherwise referred to as crude oil or natural gas as the case may be as well as all related products and substances extracted together with the said compounds.
STEPS TO EXPLOIT GAS IN CAMEROON
According to the gas exploitation process, and the gas exploitation regulation in Cameroon, certain steps to exploit gas in Cameroon have been imposed for operations in the downstream gas sector in Cameroon. They include but not limited to;
- Any downstream gas exploitation sector operator shall undertake his activities in compliance with the principle of continuity and quality of service. The operator shall be bound to maintain the financial and technical conditions applicable to its schedule of activities throughout the period of validity of the concession, license or authorization.
- An operator who has been granted a concession, a license or an authorization shall be bound to inform the Minister in charge of the downstream gas sector beforehand of any changes likely to occur in respect of shareholding and the composition of share capital, where such changes are likely to modify the control of the company.
SPECIFICITIES OF THE GAS EXPLOITATION LICENSE IN CAMEROON (AGREEMENT)
- Purpose, bases and scope of the project it governs,
- The Site of construction,
- The detailed contents of the gas project,
- The validity period of the agreement and the conditions for the renewal, extension and termination,
- The gas resources which are necessary for the implementation of the projects identified in the agreement in accordance with the gas exploitation in Cameroon law, as well as the technical requirements for consolidating them where the gas sources are spread over the national mining area etc.
THE GAS EXPLOITATION LICENSE REGIME IN CAMEROON
Exploiting natural gas in Cameroon according to the gas exploitation in Cameroon law entails the following; gas processing, storage, importation, and exportation. All these aspects are subject to a License regime.
The scope of gas exploitation consists of gas processing, storage and production of liquefied natural gas, and a maximum period of 5 (Five) years for importation and exportation licenses.
There are two types of licenses. The processing license and the storage license.
GAS EXPLOITATION AUTHORIZATION REGIME
According to the scope of the gas exploitation license in Cameroon, and the gas exploitation regulation, the following activities shall be subject to authorization;
- Sale of gas,
- Importation and Installation of materials and equipment for setting up gas transportation and distribution networks,
- gas storage centres
The Minister in charge will grant the authorization. This grant will not exceed a period of 3 years renewable.
An operator has to comply with the financial and technical criteria specific to the activity concerned and defined by a separate instrument.
GAS EXPLOITATION CONCESSION REGIME
According to the scope of gas exploitation license in Cameroon and the gas exploitation regulation, every gas transportation and distribution activity shall be subject to obtaining a concession. The Minister in charge shall grant the concession for a maximum period of 25 (Twenty-Five) years.
The concession shall be valid only within the area of the grant. It shall define as the case may be the rights and obligations of the transporter or distributor in the management of the network under its responsibility.
An operator has to comply with environmental protection and safety laws.