Ukraine to enforce measures to ensure lawful use of natural deposits

Jul 07, 2004 02:00 AM

Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has signed a decree on measures to ensure enforcement of the law concerning the use of natural deposits. The decree also contains some instructions regarding personnel.
The decree says the legal observance test in Poltava and Sumy regions revealed multiple violations in the use of natural deposits. These include unauthorized industrial development of natural deposits, particularly on voluntarily seized land parcels, without proper licenses, the tapping of oil and gas, and their illegal refining. The decree asserts this is because the government of Ukraine, Naftogaz Ukrayiny, corresponding state administrations and law enforcement bodies did not work enough to prevent and detect violations.

Kuchma tasked the government to consider firing the heads of the oil extraction departments at Okhtyrkanaftogaz and Poltavanaftogaz. The Interior Ministry is also to consider firing certain ministry officials in Poltava and Sumy regions. Kuchma gave the government three months to ensure the unconditional implementation of the President's decree on the resolution of the National Security and Defence Council of June 6, 2003 on urgent measures to improve the effectiveness of the use of natural deposits in Ukraine.
The government was also instructed to send for parliamentary consideration a draft of amendments to the Land Code on advancing the procedure for the allocation of land parcels connected to the use of deposits, the law on oil and gas regarding identification of important reasons, due to which the user of oil and gas deposits is not capable of exploiting them, and to set in natural units maximum oil and gas stocks during a geological survey of oil and gas deposits.

The Cabinet shall ensure budget financing to increase oil and gas stocks to at least the sum of such financing in 2003, to ensure a bigger state order for such an increase in 2005.
The Cabinet shall ensure that the State Committee of Ukraine for Natural Resources executes its functions on administration of wells whose owners were not identified if such wells are located on unused oil-and gas-containing parcels and decides on the use of such wells if they are located on the parcels, for which special permits for use have been issued.

In a five-month term the government shall complete the inventory of lands used for oil and gas fields and register respective legislative documents, approve the list of vital oil and gas facilities that need to be protected by special guard teams. In a two-month term the Public Prosecutor's General Office of Ukraine is to check the lawfulness of instructions dismissing criminal cases concerning oil and gas theft.
Corresponding instructions were also issued to the Crimean government and local state administrations. Execution of this decree shall be controlled by the chairman of the Coordination committee for the war against corruption and organized crime under the President of Ukraine.

Source: Interfax Information Services
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