Natural Resources Ministry says consultations on Local Content Policy to continue this week
Please see below statement from the Ministry of Natural Resources on the draft Local Content Policy:
The Ministry of Natural Resources continues to make tremendous efforts towards transparency and accountability. In this regard, and in an effort to address and clear misconceptions that may circulate in the media, the Ministry wishes to address concerns relating to the Draft Local Content Policy, specifically in the areas of the local content panel, independent gap analysis, and draft measures which may be deemed allegedly unsuitable for Guyana. The Ministry hopes that this clarity assists in easing cases of pedantic comments as it relates to the consultation process and other methods which are the core basis for drafting the present Local Content Policy (LCP).
Firstly, the Ministry thanks the Local Content Advisory Panel for the significant work done regarding the Local Content Panel Report. It is also important to note that this report stands as one of the principal pillars on which the new draft local content policy sits and was critical in shaping the newly revised policy. Further, the purpose of this revised local content policy document, inter alia, is to guide the legal drafting process. Having realistic and pragmatic targets in place is crucial before any action is placed towards Guyana’s legislative framework. Essentially, these targets will serve as the schedule of the local content legislation.
The Ministry also recognizes the importance of a gap analysis study which is instrumental and critical in crafting the local content policy. However, so too is an extensive and broad-based consultation process with all relevant stakeholders and segments of civil society, which indeed shares similar methodology and outcomes. Therefore, in the interest of time and the urgency in having a robust local content policy in place, which would then serve as the principal driver of the legislative framework, the Ministry has opted for the broad-based consultation process. The idea is for stakeholders to come up with both realistic and pragmatic targets. To date, this consultative process is ongoing.
Among these, it is also essential, for one to be aware that the upstream oil and gas sector has a particular language that mirrors certain standardized characteristics and predefined roles that are common across the industry worldwide. While the sector is new to Guyana, the Ministry believes it wise to not re-invent the wheel and further complicate the description of these services. In the interest of clarity and hence, ensuring compliance and reduce loopholes in our local content regulations, job descriptions and services must be both pellucid and unambiguous. Therefore, to ensure the latter is attained, the language must be kept consistent.
The continuing development of the offshore energy sector is an important element for Guyana’s industrial growth since it holds the potential of substantial and simultaneously boosting economic activity. A central idea here is that the economic impact of the offshore energy sector can be enhanced by increasing the local content of its inputs. The Government of Guyana has set within the revised draft Local Content Policy a series of phased targets for the growth of local participation, benefits, and ownership of the offshore energy sector. Therefore, as can be seen within the policy document there is a timeline target of ten (10) years which will see new products, services, and business development in Guyana. The Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Natural Resources has worked with both international and local professionals in crafting the content of the policy and the establishment of realistic and realisable targets, over the different phases of development for the petroleum sector and sub-sector. These targets are set from the current trend of development in Guyana and projects from similar economies that have set a path of local content benefits over various periods of time.
In closing, the Ministry wishes to state that the existing local content policy document, in its crude form is not final. The idea is for the various stakeholders and segments of civil society to examine the draft document and propound realistic and pragmatic targets. As is, those targets and measures are meant solely to entice discussion. It is also pertinent to note that the draft has been endorsed by many representatives of civil society and industry since its release however, the Ministry sticks to its agenda on having ongoing consultations of which all Guyanese are invited to join virtually to make comments and share concerns.
The Draft Local Content Policy may be viewed at https://nre.gov.gy. Comments can be sent to [email protected]