Companies that intend to operate in Ghana’s upstream petroleum sector are required to register with the Petroleum Commission. The upstream sector includes searching for potential underground or underwater crude oil and natural gas fields, drilling exploratory wells, and subsequently drilling and operating the wells that recover and bring the crude oil or raw natural gas to the surface. Upon registration, applicants will be issued with a permit before they can commence operations.  The permit is renewable annually. We would like to share with you the process of registration.

Steps to Register with the Petroleum Commission

STEP 1- Acquire application Pack

An application pack must be obtained from Petroleum Commission for a non-refundable fee of One Hundred Ghana Cedis (GH₵100).  You can only make payment by Banker’s Draft to Petroleum Commission, Ghana.

STEP 2- Complete Application Forms with Relevant Information and Documents

Once the application Pack is obtained, you can fill the necessary application forms and attach all relevant documents for submission. Documents should be comb bound and three (3) copies submitted to the commission. In the case where the applicant cannot submit any of the documents, the applicant will have to obtain a waiver from the appropriate Government agency.  The documents to be submitted include:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Certificate of incorporation
  3. Certificate to commence Business
  4. Letter from Registrar General with Form 20 and 21 attached
  5. Audited Financial Report
  6. Valid SSNIT Clearance Certificate
  7. Business Plan
  8. Company profile
  9. Copy of application pack receipts

STEP 3 – Meet All Local Content Requirements

A non-indigenous Ghanaian company which intends to provide goods or services to a contractor, a subcontractor, licensee, the Corporation or other allied entity within the country shall incorporate a joint venture company with an indigenous Ghanaian company and afford that indigenous Ghanaian company an equity participation of at least ten percent (10%). Both companies should already be registered with the petroleum commission.

Joint venture companies are exempted from the initial fees upon registration with the commission. However, the renewal fees apply to them when it is due.

Joint venture companies may have to include the following:

A plan clearly stating:

    • The roles and responsibilities of the joint venture parties in the joint venture company;
    • The equity participation of the joint venture parties;
    • The strategy for the transfer of technology and know-how to the indigenous Ghanaian company.
  1. Regulations of the Company covering, among other things, the following:
    • Shares structure and the shareholders rights (including classes of shares and voting rights).
    • Reserved Matters
    • Dividend policy
    • Transfer of Shares & Pre-emptive Rights
    • Obligatory Transfer Events
    • Board of Directors (Executive & Non Executive)
    • Deadlock Provisions
    • Tug Along Rights
  1. Board resolution of the two companies approving the incorporation of the joint venture company.
  2. Audited Financial Statement of the indigenous and non-indigenous Ghanaian companies for the last three (3) years.
  3. Key Personnel (CEO, COO, CFO and other senior Management Personnel) and brief description of their jobs, mandates, roles and responsibilities.

General Information You Must Know When Submitting Your Application

  1. All communications to the Petroleum Commission must be on the applicant company’s official letter head and addressed to the CEO of the Commission.
  2.  Application for the Registration Permit must be made by the corporate head of the company or an authorized representative.
  3. An application shall be rendered void if forged or if it is detected that fake documents have been submitted. Sanctions may apply in accordance with the law.
  4. Tax Clearance and SSNIT clearance certificates submitted with the application must be valid at the time of submission.
  5. Information provided by an applicant on completed application forms that are submitted and processed by the Commission shall not be amended until the renewal of the Permit.
  6. The Commission would review all applications and where necessary, may carry out site/facility inspections. The outcome of the review could be any of the following:
    • Application rejected
    • Additional information required
    • Application Approved

Successful applicants would be required to pay appropriate fees based on their Annual Turnover (for already existing companies) or Projected Revenue (for newly formed companies) in accordance with The Petroleum Commission (Fees and Charges) Regulations, 2015 (L.I. 2221).

ALSO READ: What You Need to Know about Company Registration

Cost of Registration with Petroleum Commission

Fees and Charges -Fully Indigenous Ghanaian Service Companies

A1Above 20 million70,00056,000
B2Above 10 million but not more than 20 million49,00039,000
C1Above 7 million but not more than 10 million35,00028,000
D1Above 5 million but not more than 7 million25,00020,000
E1Above 2 million but not more than 5 million15,00012,000
F1Above 1 million but not more than 2 million35,0002,800
G1Above 400,000 million but not more than 7 million1,5001,200
H1400,000 or less700560

Fees and Charges -Indigenous Ghanaian Service Companies

A1Above 20 million140,000112,000
B2Above 10 million but not more than 20 million90,00072,000
C1Above 7 million but not more than 10 million60,00048,000
D1Above 5 million but not more than 7 million40,00032,000
E1Above 2 million but not more than 5 million20,00016,000
F1Above 1 million but not more than 2 million15,00012,000
G1Above 400,000 million but not more than 7 million8,0006,400


Fees and Charges -Foreign Service Companies

A1Above 20 million150,000120,000
B2Above 10 million but not more than 20 million100,00080,000
C1Above 7 million but not more than 10 million70,00056,000
D1Above 5 million but not more than 7 million50,00040,000
E1Above 2 million but not more than 5 million30,00024,000
F1Above 1 million but not more than 2 million20,00016,000
G1Above 400,000 million but not more than 7 million10,0008,000


Issuance of Permit

  1. Permits will only be issued by the Petroleum Commission after the applicant has satisfactorily met all requirements and paid the appropriate fee.
  2. Permits may be ready for collection five (5) working days after the appropriate fees have been paid.
  3. Permits should be picked up by an authorized representative with a valid company or National ID (Driver’s license, Voter’s ID, Passport, etc.)
  4. Expiration date of the Permit shall be at the anniversary of issuance. Request for renewal must be made a month before expiry.

Investment Opportunities in the Upstream Petroleum Sector

The Upstream industry in Ghana is a young and vibrant one that has a lot of opportunities for stakeholders who are looking at investing in oil and gas. Some of the opportunities include but not limited to site surveys and interpretation, basin modeling, geochemical services, product support services and reservoir engineering.


To conclude, the supply chain of the oil and Gas industry in Ghana is a complex and highly technical sector that generates enough revenue for the Government and companies who seeks to engage in the oil and gas business. By developing a good strategy as a company and complying with all the regulations of the Petroleum Commission, the sector is very viable and the potential revenue returns can be overwhelming. Companies can in turn help a lot of people to improve the living standards of people in the supply chain.