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Guyana signs MOUs with Mexico for capacity building in oil industry

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Guyana and the Mexican Institute of Petroleum (IMP) signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) to build capacity in the emerging oil and gas sector.

The MOUs were signed yesterday (Wednesday, March 15, 2017) by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Director General of the IMP, Dr Ernesto Ríos Patrón.

The Mexican Ambassador to Guyana, Ivan Roberto Sierra-Medel noted that the MOUs were the most meaningful exchange between the two countries.

Guyana is a new entrant in the oil industry, and sharing Mexico’s expertise, and experiences with Guyana fosters overall development, Ambassador Sierra-Medel noted.

Dr. Ríos noted that the MOUs provide for the training of human resources in labour, technical and professional jobs and the creation of a technical background and overall technical framework for Guyana.

One of the MoUs also seeks to complete the three white papers which aim to “build an overall balance of demand and supply of oil and gas in the local industry.” A team from IMP will be in Guyana collecting data to complete the white papers.

The team will share its techniques and methodologies and best practices with the government. “What we expect to be doing for the Guyana Government (is) to build their own documents and to build a set of concepts…that are Guyana’s concept to develop their own industry,” Dr Ríos explained.

The white papers are expected to be “a point of conversation” among the government, society and the industry on the sustainable, mid and long-term, development of the fledgeling oil and gas sector.

Upon the completion of the data collection, a representative from Guyana will travel to the IMP in Mexico for its analyses before the final scope of the papers is settled here in Guyana.

“The idea is to help build capabilities…to facilitate a process for someone to build up these white papers and these ideas and then become an active person that will bring those ideas into the Guyana community,” Dr Ríos explained.

Boosting technical capacities

The training which will be provided by the IMP will focus on three main areas. The IMP has proposed training in Sciences of the Earth which includes studies such as geophysics and geology. However, the government is still to determine the areas of training for which it wishes to develop capacities.

Dr Ríos explained that the Institute would create a ‘tree’ of competencies and out of that “we will come with the value chain and compare the abilities based on what time of the development you are,” to determine the training that will be required.

The MOUs aim to provide Guyana with lasting technical knowledge and best practices in the industry. The IMP is financing the projects identified in the MOUs. While not providing an exact number, Ambassador Sierra-Medel said it is a “considerable investment”.

The IMP has over 50 years of experience in Mexico’s petroleum industry and is the country’s leading research centre dedicated to technological research and development, provision of engineering and technical services, training, and awarding degrees, and participating in strategic and technological joint ventures.

Mexico has 100 years’ experience in extracting oil.

Last June a team from Mexico was in Guyana to offer technical support to the Ministry of Natural Resources in the development of a Petroleum Regulatory Agency and Institute, tertiary and technical education and training in the mining, oil and gas and environment sectors.

Outside of the oil and gas industry, Mexico’s relations with Guyana includes the granting a scholarship for a Guyanese to pursue a Masters in Coconut Biology. Recently, the country announced the importation of Guyanese rice to its markets.

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