Oil firms urged to follow Ivorian regulations

APA-Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) The Ivorian Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Energy is denouncing a failure to comply with local content requirements.In a memo, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons points out that despite the entry into force of Law No. 2022-408 of 13 June 2022 on local content in oil and gas activities, the quota for Ivorianpersonnel in oil and gas companies is not being respected.

“I am repeatedly told that oil companies, oil subcontractors, service providers and suppliers of goods and services are not employing Ivorian staff in accordance with the legislative and regulatory provisions relating to local content,” writes the Director General of Hydrocarbons, Mr. Bienvenu Esse.As a reminder, the DG stresses that “all companies involved in oil and gas activities in Côte d’Ivoire must give priority to recruiting and employing staff of Ivorian nationality with the required qualifications.”

According to Mr Esse, the employment of non-Ivorian personnel is subject to a waiver issued under certain conditions by the Director General of Hydrocarbons. Côte d’Ivoire, which has a Higher School of Petroleum and Energy (ESPE) at the INPHB, can meet the challenges of the jobs required.Annex 1 of Decree No. 2023-441 of 24 May 2023 defines the list of jobs that must be filled by Ivorian staff in oil companies, with no possibility of exceptions for non-Ivorian staff.“All companies involved in oil and gas activities in Côte d’Ivoire must set up a training and/or mentoring programme for Ivorian workers to enable them to reach all levels of responsibility within the company,” it states.

The staff of any company involved in oil and gas activities should include Ivorian nationals at all job levels, so as to comply with the local staff index (IPL) as set out in the decree implementing the law
on local content.The Director General of Hydrocarbons, Bienvenu Esse, warns that failure to comply with these provisions constitutes an offence punishable by the regulations in force. This demand has been fought for by unions in the sector for several decades.

In addition, in order to preserve employment opportunities for Ivorian personnel, the note concludes that a lack of proficiency in a language other than the official language of Côte d’Ivoire should not
constitute a barrier to recruitment for oil and gas activities in the country.On 27 August 2023, the Italian oil group ENI began producing oil and natural gas from the Baleine field, the largest in the country,located in deep waters in the south-east of the country.New hydrocarbon discoveries have been made in recent months.