Gov’t hires Canadian Consultant to review Exxon’s third development project

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The Government has hired a consultant from Canada to review ExxonMobil’s third development project offshore Guyana which has been on hold since last year.

President Irfaan Ali earlier this week revealed that he will not give ExxonMobil the go-ahead for the development of the Payara Field until a review of the plan is conducted and it is guaranteed that Guyanese benefit.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo during a press conference Friday could not immediately reveal the name of the Canadian Consultant or say which company he is attached to.

However, the Vice President made it clear that the Consultant will submit his review of the Payara Field Development Plan by August 24, 2020. The money to pay the consultant is being used from a Canadian Grant that is already in place.

Dr Jagdeo said that the PPP government held a meeting ExxonMobil and made it clear that Guyanese must benefit from the wealth.

“We have made it clear to ExxonMobil we want them to do well here to make money but Guyanese must share this prosperity that it’s not sustainable otherwise and we will insist that happens.

“If they’re doing well, our people must do well too in terms of opportunities, employment etc. That will be the guiding principle, the philosophy in all of our engagements with ExxonMobil and subsequently once we start looking at the other contracts,” the Vice President said.

Once it gets on-stream, the Payara project will ramp up oil production to 750,000 barrels of oil per day

Dr Jagdeo said the Government has already identified serious shortcomings as it relates to ExxonMobil and it is hoped that the oil major takes it seriously, including the issue of Local Content.

In this regard, the Department of Energy, which is tasked with coming up with a Local Content Policy legislation, has been transferred to the control of the Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat.

The Petroleum Commission, he said, will be established in approximately eight months.

“The Commission will have a technical oversight with some of the best brains,” Dr Jagdeo said noting that there will be “foreign help” until Guyanese are adequately trained.

“The President has insisted that he wants to see a prominent place for Guyanese in the management of these areas and in terms of benefitting from these areas.”

Meanwhile, according to Dr Jagdeo, an advisory group will be established to provide guidance to President Ali on petroleum and the oil and gas sector.

He said the group will be made up of Guyanese.

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