‘Single destination solution’ for petroleum investors with opening of Houston office of Hughes, Fields and Stoby
With the aim of bridging Guyana’s emerging oil and gas industry with Texas, the U.S. State referred to as the oil and gas capital of the world, local law firm Hughes, Fields and Stoby has launched its office in Houston in partnership with Access Point.
Nigel Hughes, attorney and Managing partner of Hughes, Fields and Stoby, said the “single destination solution” will link potential investors with Guyanese officials in the private and public sector according to their needs.
“Long before a potential investor even arrives in Guyana, the law offices of Hughes, Fields and Stoby will be on hand in Houston, Texas to guide clients and potential clients through what will be a complex process of establishing business relationships in Guyana from legal representation right through to assistance with business protocols and linkages to a network of officials in the public and private sector,” he told those gathered at the launch of the new office on Friday night at the Marriott hotel, Georgetown, Guyana.
Hughes said the location offers the law firm the opportunity to present a new image for Guyana as a preferred destination for investment in the oil and gas industry. There will be labour and investment advice provided, along with webinars on doing business in Guyana and various publications on oil and gas activities here.
He noted that the company has since updated its human capacity to manage and advise on multi-billion-dollar transactions over multiple jurisdictions and across several continents.
The Houston office will be managed by US partner Gregory Clark who worked with Occidental Petroleum Company, a large Oil and Gas company, as that organization’s General Counsel and Exxon Mobil in the past.
Clark, who has worked in various countries in the oil and gas field, said the company will also be offering advice on adhering to the rules and laws of Guyana. He explained that “the firm will keep its eye out for every law, rule, regulation or policy that could impact our clients and will take it upon ourselves to give them a draft of that document if its available along with a memorandum summarizing the potential impact that new legislation can have on the company.”
This, he said, is needed as Guyana is also now drafting its legislation to govern the sector. As the regulations are drafted, they can include new details which can impact clients, he said.
Head of the Government’s Energy Department, Dr. Mark Bynoe made his first public address at the event since his appointment last month.
Dr. Bynoe welcomed the investment noting that “transformational change must become a reality.”
The Head of one of the most important public office at this juncture of Guyana’s history noted that the Government has a wide range of options in terms of ownership, control, and intervention for the development of the country’s natural resources according to their “ideological orientation, capabilities and political interest.”
However, he said the Energy Department has taken the approach to prioritize those areas of interventions that Government is likely to have a comparative advantage and seek partnerships with the private sector to safeguard the best interest of citizens.
He touted continued public engagement as a way of ensuring everyone is prepared for the revenue emanating from the oil and gas industry.
“We must improve our systems of governance and transparency inclusive of public procurement to reduce potential downstream leakages associated with petroleum revenues,” Dr. Bynoe said adding a call for persons to use the oil revenue as a catalyst for long-term transitional and sustainable development.
“Continue to build that ever-evolving capacity to ensure that in years to come, we can do it for ourselves.”