The Ministry of Natural Resources today (Tuesday, March 07, 2017) clarified that no decision has been made in terms of where Guyana’s oil would be refined.
The Ministry’s statement came after Managing Director of Staatsolie (Suriname’s state-owned oil company), Rudolf Elias was quoted in the Surinamese Newspaper, De Ware Tijd saying Guyana’s oil is much lighter that what the country’s refinery was built for, contradicting statements made by Guyana’s Natural Resources Minister that Suriname had indicated a willingness to do refining for Guyana on March 02.
The Ministry on Tuesday said Minister Trotman was speaking “based on the best information available to him at that time.” It was noted that Government Ministers were informed on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, that Suriname had indicated a willingness to do refining for Guyana since their refinery is operating below full capacity.
However, it was noted that no final decision was made as Cabinet had approved a consultancy whose report will guide the Government on the way forward on the matter of an oil refinery.
In the mean time, the Ministry says it will seek clarity from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the potential utility of the Suriname refinery.
Minister Trotman also on Thursday, March 02, 2017, said there have been some recent overtures from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for the refining of Guyana’s oil but he expects that a formal proposal to be made in this regard.
Guyana was exploring the viability of constructing an oil refinery here, however, the Minister said the current below optimum operating positions of Suriname and Trinidad bring into stark focus the need for Guyana to be careful in considering whether or not to have a refinery.