The de-regulation of the entire petroleum sector started in 1995. The monopoly of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation in crude imports and bulk marketing of finished products ended in early 1996. Traders were allowed to bid for direct supplies of crude oil from the Tema Oil Refinery, which is the country's sole refinery under the supervision of the Energy Commission.
By an Act of Parliament, the National Petroleum Authority came into being in 2005, taking over the functions of the Energy Commission relating to the downstream petroleum sector.
The ultimate aim of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) is to grant licenses
to local companies willing to enter into bulk marketing of petroleum products -
Bulk Distribution Companies (BDC).
As at the end of 2010 the number of BDCs has been capped at ten (10).
The NPA has also licensed about 76 Oil Marketing Companies which retail
finished products at their various Filling Service Stations.