Extended working group meeting regarding the reforms in subsoil use relations with the participation of the Minister of Ecology, Ostap Semerak, MPs, State Geologic Service, EBRD, USA Embassy, the Association of Gas Producers, and the representatives of the industry.
The presentation of the first package of measures to simplify doing business and stimulate attraction of investments in the subsoil use industry.
The main issues: transparency of auctions, creation of the State Register of Geologic Information, cancellation of the payment for access to geologic information, reserves assessment.
During the discussion of the process and the main areas of reforms in subsoil use, Roman Opimakh has stated that: "A big positive change for the industry is that there is a outlined vision of opening the geologic information. Changes are being implemented, but very slowly. It is an axiom that openness of the geologic information directly correlates with the auctions. I would like to point out that there are no plans on selling licenses this year. Why is it this way? Because the State Geologic Service is an institutionally weak authority. Additionally, currently the oblast councils are delaying the issue of the special permits with no real reason. I would also like to highlight the double standards and selectiveness of the auctions: 90 licenses were sold without the auction. Only 21 was sold at an auction. Concurrently with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources implementing subsoil use reforms, the SGS is demonstrating delays in approving the issuance of the special permits.
The illogical thing is the payment for increased reserves, it directly contradicts the legislation. There is also a request from the industry to cancel the payment for the reserves incremented during the further development of the field. The state has to stimulate the investor rather than obstruct and punish. Norway, for instance, reimburces the investor the cost of geological exploration after 7 years through budget mechanisms.