Guyanese can buy shares as Gov’t to establish National Oil Company

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Guyanese may eventually be able to buy shares in the petroleum sector as the Government mulls the establishment of a National Oil Company, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman announced.

“We are examining the various models for a National Oil Company…we’ve received advice saying ‘yes’, some ‘no’ … but I believe we are going to get a National Oil Company,” Trotman told reporters Friday after he addressed a Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources.

A National Oil Company (NOC) is an oil and gas company owned by a Government. According to the World Bank, NOCs accounted for 75% global oil production and controlled 90% of proven oil reserves in 2010.

Minister Trotman told the Parliamentary Committee that the idea is for locals to be able to purchase shares so they will benefit directly from the oil and gas sector.

“The idea is that the company will be able to issue shares as Banks DIH, etc so ordinary Guyanese can access and those who have the means to go beyond would be able to bid and have a part of a concession,” Trotman told the Committee’s Chairman, Odinga Lumumba.

Lumumba had asked what measures the Government can implement to ensure Guyanese play a greater role in the development of the industry rather than having only foreign companies invest in the sector.

“In your equation, is there any consideration that local content should go beyond just giving jobs or shipping stuff to a rig … or you have some proposals where you can buy shares so local people [can benefit]. In essence, I am saying that Guyanese people, to me, are tired of the approach on the table right now,” Lumumba stated.

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