Gas producers are advocating for exclusive auction procedure for obtaining special permits for oil and gas subsoil use. This was stressed out by Roman Opimakh, the executive director of the Association of Gas Producers of Ukraine, during his speech on the Committee hearing on subsoil use issues, which was hosted by the Federation of Employers of Ukraine. For instance, in the past 3 years, 20 licenses were obtained with the auction procedure, and 90 – without one. The double standards are not clear to the investors.
Roman Opimakh: "The organization and holding of the auction takes over 9 months. It can be simplified, but it is not the time, which is the main issue. The auctions should be held regularly and consistently. For instance, twice a year, in previously fixed terms on a transparent platform, as it is done in the civilized world.
Among the main factors, which obstruct doing so today:
Firstly, the institutional capacities of State Geological Survey – selection of promising fields and lots preparation requires time, effort, and financing, all of which are currently lacked. Thus, we are confident that the situation may be changed with the creation of a data room – open and free access to all the secondary information, as it is done currently in the rest of the world.
Secondly, the factor of blocking the approvals on the side of oblast council. The industry has supported the bill, which will enter into force in 2018 on royalty decentralization. The financial motivation should be sufficient to turn the communication back into a constructive dialog.
Thirdly, the auction procedure has its flaws, such as unfair competition of one of the participants, who first increases the bid dramatically, and then refuses to pay as the winner, which ultimately leads to the failure of the auction, and which will require repeated auction procedure to be hosted.
Finally, it is the post-auction period. Therefore, the agenda of the industry includes deregulation of the permitting procedures. The industry needs the urgent passing of the 3096-d bill, which will be up for voting in fall. The bill should eliminate doubling and ancient permits, and simplify land plot issue for wells drilling."