Artisanal oil licences to be issued this month
OIL refining licences are to be issued, starting this month, the government has announced. At a November 10 press conference, U Htay Aung, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, said the Union government would work with state and region authorities in handing out the licences, from November 16, 2016, to March 31, 2017. The temporary licences to refine local crude will be issued to companies engaged in artisanal oil drilling and crude-oil refining.
“We didn’t issue temporary licences for the local oil-refining business. When we issue a licence, we will need to know what kind of techniques the applicant will use, what their safety measures are and how they will comply with environmental protection rules,” said U Htay Aung.
The regulations will restrict applicants for the temporary licences from receiving crude from any company other than those already authorised to carry out artisanal oil drilling. Licence holders must reveal the sources of their oil and the amount to be refined. They must have a production capacity of at least 1000 to 3000 gallons of crude in a 24-hour period.
Local oil refineries granted a licence must present monthly reports of the amount of crude oil used and its production to the ministry and respective sub-committees. Before March 31, the last day of the financial year when the licences expire, companies may apply for a one-year extension. The refineries will be assessed for taxes, and will be required to colour-code their produces: pink for paraffin, green for petrol and indigo blue for diesel.
In 2015-16 financial year, refined oil production was about 500,000 gallons. There are about 237 oil refineries in operation.