Ministry of the Presidency to take over responsibility for oil sector

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Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman has announced that based on his proposal to President David Granger last year, a decision has been taken by Cabinet to establish the Department of Energy, which in due course, will oversee the oil and gas sector.

This is according to a release by the Ministry of the Presidency on Tuesday, which noted that the Department is expected to come on stream in approximately six months and will be housed at the Ministry of the Presidency, as per the recommendation of Minister Trotman.

The proposal document submitted to Cabinet by Minister Trotman stated that “given the evolving macro-economic and national security considerations, and the transformative nature of the imminent production of petroleum,” it is his view that several matters must be taken into consideration.

Based on the proposal by Trotman, the Ministry of the Presidency will now be responsible for “all policy matters, including, but not limited to, the negotiating and entering into contracts, and issuing of licences for exploration and production, be transferred/re-assigned to the Ministry of the Presidency and placed within a Department of Energy and Development.”

The announcement comes at a time when ExxonMobil made its seventh oil find at the Pacora Well, four miles off of the Payara Well.

According to the government release, in the lead up to the establishment of the Department, Cabinet has mandated that Minister Trotman head a Task Force, which would comprise the Ministers of Finance, State, Public Infrastructure and Business.

The Ministers of Public Security, Public Telecommunications, Ministers of Education and Social Protection are also expected to be included.

The Task Force has been tasked with the formulation of a proposal for the development of the mandate of the Department of Energy, as well as how it will be structured and staffed, the Government release noted.

“Last year I did propose to His Excellency, the President that we begin considering the establishment of the Department of Energy; a Department, which will be focused only on the development of the petroleum sector. Today [Tuesday] we held and had a very lively discussion on the proposal, which I presented and it has been determined and decided that we will have the Department of Energy established and this will be coming within the next few months.

“Eventually the expectation is that the Ministry of Natural Resources will hand over responsibility of the function of petroleum to this new Department and we will see a more direct and focused mandate from this Department of Energy and we will of course, as a Cabinet be supporting the Department,” Minister Trotman noted.

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