Government denies downgrading Natural Resources Minister’s role in development of petroleum sector

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mar 1, CMC – The Guyana government Thursday denied reports that the
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, had been stripped of responsibility for the petroleum sector.
In a statement, the Office of the Presidency said that Trotman had been influential in the development of the oil and gas sector.
“The Natural Resources Minister has provided sterling leadership in the development of the sector and it is under his stewardship that significant progress has been made in capacity building and preparations for ‘first oil’,” the statement noted.
“The Ministry of the Presidency condemns as false the claim that President David Granger has ‘stripped’ Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Raphael Trotman of responsibility for oil,” the statement added as it dismissed the reports as “malicious and dishonest”.
Earlier this week as he announced the discovery of a new oil find in Guyana waters, Trotman said that the responsibility for the petroleum sector would be transferred from his ministry to a Department of Energy within the Ministry of the Presidency, in keeping with a proposal he delivered to the President David Granger last year.
Trotman said he would be heading a Task Force comprising of several ministers would responsible for establishing the Department.
In outlining the various achievements of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the statement made reference to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Petroleum Institute of Mexico for training and capacity building.
It noted also that an internationally recognised consultant has been retained to draft a local content policy for Government’s approval and this process is in its final stages while the capacity of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) is being boosted to respond to any incidence of oil spill or related disasters.

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