The oil discovery in Ghana has generated interest around the world as it is one of the biggest finds in Africa in recent times. This coupled with the comfortable investment climate prevailing in Ghana has attracted and may continue to attract multinational oil and gas companies to do business in the West African country. How to ensure that these companies behave responsibly is key to the effective management of the oil and gas resources. Is it necessary for government to pay particular attention to corporate social responsibility (hereinafter called CSR) issues in the regulation of the nascent oil and gas industry in Ghana or CSR must be left to the ethical considerations of the industry? Can CSR play a significant role in the management of oil and gas resources? In addressing these questions and their legal implications, this paper will analyze the efficacy of CSR in the management of oil and gas resources in Ghana.

It is submitted that CSR, albeit a voluntary concept, is an effective tool in the management of oil and gas resources in Ghana. It is argued that CSR is not only necessary for the financial well being of oil companies but its ethos can influence the enactment of appropriate regulations to guide the petroleum industry. Compliance with regulations is also linked to a corporation ¿'s adherence to CSR principles. Voluntary CSR instruments are also designed to complement and build on existing human rights, labour and environmental protection instruments. Thus integration of CSR norms into operations of the oil and gas industry in Ghana has the likelihood of shoring up performance. For CSR to be more effective in unlocking the full potential of the budding offshore petroleum industry in Ghana, it is recommended amongst others that a mandatory CSR reporting system must be enacted for oil companies and companies must also be obliged to incorporate CSR principles into their regulations.

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