Cabinet briefed on future of Oil & Gas Sector by newly appointed Presidential Advisor
Newly appointed Presidential Advisor on Petroleum, Dr. Jan Mangal today briefed the cabinet on the future of the Oil and Gas sector and according to the Ministry of the Presidency, he explained that as the Advisor to the President on Petroleum, he will be tasked with being the ‘middle ground’ between the Government and stakeholders to ensure that the necessary plans and policies are put in place.
This, the Government statement noted, comes on the heels of Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman’s announcement that oil company, ExxonMobil could make another significant announcement on its work in Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) within the next two weeks.
Dr. Jan Mangal, whom Government informed is an expert in offshore and civil engineering, has a Doctorate in Offshore Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Edinburgh, has worked in the marine and oil and gas industries for the past 18 years.
The oil and gas expert, whose appointment is funded through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), noted that while his initial role is intended to last for a six-month period, there is an intention to seek funding for the appointment to be extended and expanded to include other experts from the technical, legal and commercial areas of the oil and gas sector, MOTP disclosed.
“I envision a small team in the Ministry, about five or less and this is a team of experts from the industry and they will be there to assist the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Finance and to also work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure. So under that five, there will be a commercial oil and gas expert, an oil and gas lawyer, an analyst and possibly a technical person but these will be persons who have been in the industry for a very long time, who know the industry very well and who are prepared to come and advise the Government of Guyana,” the Presidential Advisor was quoted as saying.
Minister Trotman deemed Dr. Mangal’s presentation as timely since ExxonMobil has been aggressively carrying out seismic and exploratory work and with the expected announcement, he said it will help the Cabinet to act more definitively on matters in relation to this sector.
“The presentation was about the technical aspects, where we would spend out monies and the kind of vision we would like to have for Guyana. So it was a good presentation; very timely and now I believe that Cabinet will examine it some more and look at the considerations some of which are political, some technical, some financial and we will ultimately come up with the blueprint if I can put it that way for the development of the oil and gas sector,” Trotman stated.
According to the MOTP statement, Minister Trotman noted that Government is working round the clock to put all systems in place to prepare Guyana for the ‘first oil.’ The Government is looking at contracts, identifying persons to do things, assessing requests for permits, with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) all working.
In January 2017, ExxonMobil announced positive results from its Payara-1 well offshore Guyana. Payara is ExxonMobil’s second oil discovery on the Stabroek Block. The well was drilled by ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, and encountered more than 95 feet (29 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. It was safely drilled to 18,080 feet (5,512 meters) in 6,660 feet (2,030 meters) of water. The Payara field discovery is about 10 miles (16 km) northwest of the 2015 Liza discovery.