37 trained in oil spill response

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Thirty-seven Guyanese have completed an extensive seven-day training aimed at effectively responding to oil spills.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, who addressed the closing ceremony of the course, used the opportunity to assure Guyanese that there are strong measures in place to protect their shoreline in the unlikely event of an oil spill in light of the drilling about to take place in 2020.

“I believe that it is important for all of Guyana to understand and recognise that as we are moving for first oil we are preparing ourselves for the eventuality of an oil spill.

“A lot has been said about our preparation and capacity and I am very happy that Exxon Mobil has been part of this exercise; making available to us the human resource to do this training… We have to put in place measures, which are more proactive rather than reactive and the companies that are operating offshore Guyana will have to satisfy us of those measures,” the Minister is quoted as saying in a Ministry of the Presidency (MotP) press release.

The training ongoing [Ministry of the Presidency photo]
Minister Harmon explained that while an oil spill is unlikely to occur, this exercise is a necessary part of ensuring that the country is prepared for all eventualities as the oil and gas sector is developed.
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Greenidge, who was also present at the event, explained that his Ministry holds special responsibilities with regard to assuring the international investment community and the rest of the world of Guyana’s commitment to developing its petroleum industry in a sustainable way and in accordance with best practices.

The graduates along with officials

“Petroleum and gas exploration is one of the most important things to have come Guyana’s way in centuries and, therefore, it become especially important for us to be able to show that we recognise that in an important industry like this, there are responsibilities and requirements that go with having that industry resident here, such as safety issues, issues of awareness on the part of the population, capacity building and the like… This is part of the foundation of the industry, whenever and however emergencies may arise,” Minister Greenidge is quoted as saying.

The workshop was organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources in collaboration with the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and Exxon Mobil, which provided the instructors. A total of 37 participants undertook to workshop, who were awarded with certificates after they gave a practical demonstration of the skills and training they have received over the past few days.

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