Gov’t approves oil companies’ updated local content master plans

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The Ministry of Natural Resources approved updated local content master plans of at least two major contractors in Guyana’s oil and gas sector. These plans have been updated with the new 45-day payment period requirement, instituted by the government. 

A release from the Ministry of Natural Resources stated that the master plans for SBM Offshore, Halliburton and others were approved on Wednesday. 

The move, the ministry noted, follows the newly proposed modification for payment terms by the Local Content Secretariat. 

This amendment, which is included in the five-year local content plan and is enforceable by law, will now see contractors and sub-contractors operating in the nation’s petroleum sector issuing payments to Guyanese suppliers within 30 to 45 days following the receipt of a correct invoice. 

The Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat reportedly said that it is crucial for contractors and subcontractors to implement this amendment.

Before this new requirement, local companies complained of having to wait up to 90 days to be paid for goods or services supplied. This significantly impacted their operations. 

Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat hands over an approved Local Content Master Plan to the Country Lead of Halliburton Guyana Vahman Jurai (MNR photo)

Now, the minister said that local suppliers will be better positioned to expand their businesses. 

The release also stated that the General Manager of SBM Offshore Martin Cheong expressed the company’s excitement about the approval of its master plan. 

“We have been hiring an increasing number of Guyanese, engaging more local suppliers for the provision of goods and services, and expanding our training and capacity building programmes as our operations increase in the country,” he was quoted as saying. 

Meanwhile, Halliburton’s Country Lead Vahman Jurai reportedly said with the approval of the company’s five-year local content plan, it is cognizant of one of Halliburton’s guiding principles of “Global Citizenship”.

He was quoted as saying, “Halliburton is eager to work closely with our local vendors, sharing our knowledge when needed. 

“We hope to significantly contribute to the development of Guyana’s talent in the oil and gas sector, whether through the university programmes we support or through hands-on experience working with us.”

For context, the local content master plan includes sub-plans relating to employment; procurement; capacity development; quality and quantity criteria for the procurement of goods and services; and  the estimated value of local content to be acquired. 

Essentially, it details how companies operating in Guyana will adequately utilise local content. 

The ministry’s press release added that identified contractors, sub-contractors and licensees have demonstrated, through their Master Plan submissions, their commitment to fostering local content in their operations by:

  1. prioritising Guyanese nationals for employment;
  2. having policies aimed at non-discrimination and equal treatment of Guyanese nationals; 
  3. implementing training and other programmes to build the capacity of both their employees and the larger Guyanese workforce; 
  4. coordinating with industrial and technical education training institutions in Guyana to provide sponsorships and/or internship opportunities;
  5. incorporating the requirements of the Act and the Procurement and Bid Evaluation Guideline issued by the Secretariat into their procurement strategy; 
  6. outlining the criteria for the supply of goods and provision of services relating to their operations;  
  7. planning capacity-building activities for Guyanese nationals and Guyanese companies that supply goods and services to the industry, such as feedback sessions, supplier forums, etc. 
  8. projecting anticipated expenditure on local content values
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