Exxon, partners to pump G$20B into local capacity-building over next 10 years

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ExxonMobil and its Stabroek Block co-venturers – Hess and CNOOC – have made a commitment to spend some G$20 billion (US$100 million) over the next ten years to significantly expand capacity-building efforts and promote sustainable economic development in Guyana.

Under a new enterprise called the ‘Greater Guyana Initiative’, the companies will work with several organisations, including the University of Guyana (UG), the Centre for Local Business Development and Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions.

The ‘Greater Guyana Initiative’ aims primarily to expand ongoing capacity development efforts by supporting education, job training, healthcare and agriculture. It also aims to offer collaborative programmes to develop a diversified workforce and businesses.

During a virtual launch on Tuesday, President of ExxonMobil Guyana, Alistair Routledge, said the move was part of the company’s long-term and broad commitment to local content and the responsible development of the country’s oil and gas resource.

He said it has been in planning for more than two years.

President of ExxonMobil Guyana, Alistair Routledge

“Our long-term commitment will support initiatives to further build human capacity, advance education, improve health care and promote sustained economic diversification… this work will boost our shared capacity development efforts in Guyana, preparing Guyanese to capitalise on new and expanded economic opportunities,” he said.

Routledge said the programmes that will benefit from the funding will have to align with the country’s overall development objectives while ensuring there is no duplication of efforts.

Meanwhile, in a pre-recorded message, President of Guyana, Dr Irfaan Ali said he was pleased to be associated with the initiative and offered his government’s support.

“We welcome this venture… it allows for the transformation of knowledge and skills to Guyanese while ensuring overall development… we understand that we can’t do it alone,” the Head-of-State said.

Dr Ali said that while the government lauds the initiative, it is not conclusive of expectations, noting that the government expects ExxonMobil and its partners to act responsibly in the conduct of its business.

President of Guyana, Dr Irfaan Ali

The Stabroek Block co-venturers will evaluate and select capacity-building projects to be included in the initiative; they will consult with local and national stakeholders and utilise third-party experts, including non-governmental organisations, to implement initiatives.

Current oil development activities include three offshore projects – Liza Phase 1 and 2 and Payara. Liza Phase 1 has been producing oil for just over a year while Liza Phase 2 and Payara are on track to begin production of oil by 2022 and 2024, respectively.

As the projects proceed, investment in the Guyanese economy continues to increase. The number of Guyanese nationals supporting project activities doubled in 2020 to more than 2,100 and over G$67 billion was spent with more than 700 local suppliers.

ExxonMobil affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is the operator of the offshore Stabroek Block with a 45 per cent interest. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited – a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited – holds 25 per cent interest.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An initial story similar to this stated that the sum was G$10 billion when it is in fact, G$20 billion. The News Room apologises for any inconvenienced caused. 

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