Guyana will have ‘workable’ framework in place before oil production


Guyana will have a “workable framework” in place in time for oil production in the first quarter of 2020, Dr Mark Bynoe, the Director of the Department of Energy said Friday.

He said that “the sky would not necessarily cave in” if there is no Petroleum Commission in place by early 2020. Speaking at a press conference, he cited the example of Ghana, where he said oil production began without a Petroleum Commission.

In the case of Mexico, he said major legislative and constitutional changes were made within a year.

“The issue is if there is that political will to get it done the Department of Energy will get its work done,” he declared.

Dr Bynoe said it would be “perfect” if the Petroleum Commission is in place before oil production begins, but it “doesn’t mean everything grinds to a halt” if it isn’t in place.

He said the Department of Energy has been working closely with the Petroleum Division of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, which has been performing the role of Petroleum Commission.

“The bits and pieces are indeed coming together,” said Dr Bynoe.

He said by first oil, “we will have the commercial section up and running” and the “the major elements of the legal framework” should be in place.

As such he said the major tents would to be in place to ensure there will not be “value leakage” and Guyana will be able to optimise the returns.

Regarding new exploration licenses, Dr Bynoe said that there will not be a new round of licensing until the legislative framework is in place, “otherwise we would be licensing under the old legal framework, of which I have pointed out a number of weaknesses.”

In addition, he said the Department wants to encourage further players in the shallow continental shelf.

“So one of the things we would be moving towards is issuing an RFP for companies that can do 2D seismic on the shallow continental shelf to develop data packages which can then be sold.

“That will take about 10 to 11 months in terms of the shooting and processing of that data,” he stated.

“So I don’t think at this stage Guyana is anxious to be rushing to another licensing round.

“We have enough to keep us occupied as we move forward to get those pieces in place so that when we move in that direction we are indeed extracting the best possible value for Guyana.”


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