Guyana looking to local content as it gears for commercial oil production

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According to CANA, the Guyana government intends to establish a Local Content Compliance Unit as the country gears to begin commercial oil production next year, head of the Department of Energy, Dr Mark Bynoe has announced.

He told the orientation exercise at the University of Guyan (UG) that the unit will validate the information submitted by oil companies operating in Guyana’s basin.

“How do you know if Exxon has employed 1,357 people, how many of Guyanese origin are actually employed… we are setting up a Local Content Compliance Unit which will help us to validate and to determine if the information we’re getting from the operators is authentic,” he said.

Bynoe’s statement comes on the heels of the release of the third draft of the proposed Local Content Policy that stipulates operators must provide yearly local content plans.

Additionally, the policy draft outlines the expectation that operators and industry players will collaborate with the government to review the  Local Content Plans and Reports; explore “what is working in delivering local content, what can be improved and when to make appropriate adjustments to a plan or to government policy or initiatives, and to identify new areas of local content opportunity.”

Bynoe told the students that they should also consider diversifying their careers in the oil and gas sector, saying “there are a multiplicity of skills and range of expertise that will be required.

“We will also need persons from the EPA; we will need financial analysts, even the lawyers and the management specialist. Why am I saying this? Because many of us think that unless you are a geological engineer unless you are a geologist or a mechanical engineer, I will not benefit from oil and gas. And I say, you will benefit once you make the sacrifice,” Bynoe said.

Meanwhile, the executive vice-president of the multinational oil and gas exploration company, Tullow Oil, Dr. Ian Cloke, says local content is very important to their operations both locally and internationally.

Clarke said that plans were being drawn up for Guyana and pointed out that Tullow Oil’s operations in Uganda, Kenya and Ghana are run by locals.

“A successful Guyanese business for us in the future will be led by a Guyanese.”

Despite the recent oil find, Tullow is still at the exploration stage of operations and its small local office is currently manned by an expatriate manager and two Guyanese.

“We will look to expand the operations here and will be looking for other areas for investment,” he said, noting that Tullow will open tenders for future offshoot services to as many local companies as possible.

On August 12, Tullow Guyana B.V announced the success of its Jethro-1 exploration well. The well was drilled in the Orinduik Block and oil was discovered in commercial quantities.

The discovery of oil reserves at the Jethro-1 well is the fourth for 2019 and brings the total number of offshore wells to 14.

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