Gov’t creating environment for Guyana to ‘flourish’ off oil – Trotman

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Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman Friday outlined a series of initiatives the government is currently engaged in to create an enabling environment for the oil and gas industry to thrive and for the nation to “flourish.”

“This new sector will provide increased revenue for the country whilst offering significant opportunities for the development of our businesses and talents.

“To say that it will be transformative will be to understate its impact,” Trotman said at a symposium organised by the University of Guyana’s Faculty of Technology.

In 2018, he said work will continue towards key initiatives, including:

  • The establishment of –  a national oil company with responsibility for Guyana’s commercial interest in the sector.
  • A scientific institute to support cutting-edge regulation and development of the sector. This initiative is supported by the Government of Mexico, a country which has a world recognised scientific programme that supports the development of its oil industry.
  • An offshore logistics base, which will serve to not only support the operations of the oil operators, and bring much-needed revenue to Guyana, but also support the development of other local industries

Minister of Education, Hon. Nicolette Henry, Mr. Doug McGhee, Upstream Operations Manager, ExxonMobil Guyana Ltd at the symposium. [DPI photos]
Trotman said that in developing the policies and systems to manage the oil and gas sector, the government is committed to ensuring that both the present and future generations will reap the benefits.

“In developing the policies and systems to manage the sector, Trotman said the government is committed to ensuring that both present and future generations will reap the benefits.

“The nexus between our current development efforts and repositioning our people, especially our youth, to be able to responsibly manage this sector and all of its ‘spin-off’ benefits is of great importance,” he stated.

Trotman said that the Sovereign Wealth Fund Bill is in draft form and under review. The process is being led by the Ministry of Finance and is key to the responsible and prudent management of revenues from the sector.

The Bill is intended to strengthen Guyana’s fiscal structures and provide for generational savings through a number of mechanisms, including budgetary support, infrastructural development, savings for future generations, social programmes, environmental protection, and Regional and Citizens benefit sharing.

The Local Content Policy is in the drafting and consultation stages.

“The Local Content policy is an expansion of our vision as it relates to Guyanese involvement in the sector through training, the promotion of knowledge, and the transfer of technology and experience through mentoring programmes, employment opportunities and business partnerships,” Trotman stated.

The present Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act is being revised. This is the main piece of legislation which details the conduct of activities and their regulation within the sector. This Act will be supported by a series of detailed regulations, the first series of which will speak to the technical, health, safety and environmental requirements.

The Petroleum Commission of Guyana Bill is aimed at establishing an agency responsible for the regulation of the sector, ensuring that activities are carried out in conformity with policies, legislation and regulations.

Trotman noted: “This Bill, which currently is before a Special Select Committee, continues to go through a series of national consultations to ensure that we create an agency which is relevant, capable and equipped to carry out this critical function.”

Trotman said that while the industry does not employ many persons directly, it generates revenues that can be made available to expend development and provide jobs in other sectors of the economy.

“Therefore as you shift, think also of enhancing skills that are transferable to other sectors; eg. fabrication – could be utilized in mining and shipbuilding.

“IT and telecommunications, for example, could be applicable across a wide range of sectors as well as welders, chefs, mechanics, logistics, marketing and business administration,” Trotman stated.

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