Energy Chamber wants seat on Petroleum Commission
- launches new training centre
The Guyana Oil and Gas Energy Chamber (GOGEC) has signalled its intention to have a seat on the Petroleum Commission, which is slated to be established by the Guyana Government to handle all legislation governing the country’s oil and gas sector and preventing political interference.
The Chamber’s President, Manniram Prashad made the pitch to Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat and Minister within the Public Works Ministry, Deodat Indar who were in attendance at the launch of the GOGEC’s training centre on Middle and Carmichael Streets, Georgetown on Thursday.
According to Prashad, the private sector plays a vital role in Guyana’s novel oil and gas sector as he emphasised having a seat on the Petroleum Commission would be the perfect position for it to make an impact.
“The Petroleum Commission is going to be set up. We expect GOGEC [which] deals directly with the oil and gas sector to be given some voice, if not membership on that Commission and anything to do with oil and gas,” Prashad pitched to the government ministers.
Prashad believes that GOGEC should be the “lead agency” when it comes to Guyana’s oil industry.
“We want to make sure that we play a very important role in moving this process forward because oil is big [and] the major thrust of the oil and gas private sector is GOGEC,” Prashad told the gathering.
In response, the Minister of Natural Resource stated that it would be too early to say who would sit on the Petroleum Commission as the government is in the process of reviewing the Petroleum Commission Bill to iron out concerns, mainly the superabundant powers given to the minister-in-charge of Petroleum.
When approached by reporters following Prashad’s speech, Bharrat said, “our [government] position remains the same.
“The minister responsible for Petroleum should not have that kind of power, to usurp the authority of the Petroleum Commission, so we have been working on this to ensure that we have those amendments and hopefully we tabled it sometime soon.”
Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo had said that the government wants a Petroleum Commission made up of technical people with an independent board to manage the oil and gas sector.
And that has been the driving principle for the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C), especially as it criticised efforts made by the previous administration to draft the Bill.
Meanwhile, the GOGEC’ training center will provide free training to Guyana’s student population to further build the country’s human capacity as the oil and gas industry expands.
The organisation has signed several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with international organisations including the Ghana Upstream Energy Chamber and Commerce, the Suriname Energy Chamber, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States; the Guyana Maritime Administration (MARAD), and the Guyana Office of Investment (GO-INVEST).
Soon, GOGEC will also be inking agreements with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), and the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC).