More talks needed on spending oil revenue


Two well-known gentlemen in the field of oil, gas, and energy are urging that there be more public discourse on how Government can utilise oil revenues for the betterment of the country rather than debating whether Government could have secured a better deal with ExxonMobil and its partners.

Former Minister of Natural Resources and Executive Chairman of the CGX Energy Ltd, Professor Suresh Narine in their presentations at the ongoing petroleum summit urged that more attention is placed on debating how Government should spend the oil money.

“Looking at some of the strategic issues and what do we do, how do we plan for the advent of oil revenues in our country and what type of approaches do we adopt and how is it to be managed. It is an important conversation I think we must have even in the context of current burning issues that sometimes overwhelm us and overwhelm the discourse that is taking place,” Persaud stated.

Professor Suresh Narine, Professor at Trent University and Executive Chair, CGX Energy Ltd [DPI photo]
Professor Narine, who delivered a keynote address, expressed that: “reports in the press suggest that several of my learned brothers and sisters are heavily focused on the Production Sharing Agreement with the Government of Guyana signed with ExxonMobil and its partners. I wish to gently suggest that this debate is not the only one that needs to claim real estate in our daily newspaper.”

The CGX Head said the “conversation about positioning ourselves to understand and then determine how the proceeds from this industry can be used to further Guyanese ambitions and goals must also take prominence.”

He added that “whilst we engage in discussions about how much we should be getting, perhaps we should spare a little bit time to think about how we would spend what we will get wisely.”

In December 2017, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman had urged the public to stop “clamouring” for more money.

“It is sometimes bemusing to understand why there is this clamor for more money when in fact, we should be more concerned about how are we going to manage this resource, being less than a million, how are we going to protect this resource because there are going to be others who will want to come and share it with us, sometimes not by choice but by force. So those are the primary concerns of the Government,” the Natural Resources Minister had said.

According to the Production Sharing Agreement, the Guyana Government will receive 2% royalties and half of the profits after the oil companies recover their expenses.

ExxonMobil and its partners will begin oil production in 2020. (Devina Samaroo)

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