By Ndubuisi Michael Obineme
The Guyanese Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Vickram Bharrat has disclosed that the Guyana Basin has become a front line and investment destination for the global energy industry.
Vickram who announced during his keynote address at the Guyana Basin Virtual Summit held on 17th – 19th March 2021, noted that due to the significant opportunities in the Guyana Basin, ExxonMobil and partners has made 18 hydrocarbon discoveries of about 9 billion barrels of oil.
Among other discoveries, he added: “Total has announced that there are more hydrocarbons offshore Suriname. It is an exciting and careful time for the country to harness its hydrocarbon resources for growth and economic prosperity.”
According to him, the Guyanese government is developing a new business model and initiatives to reposition Guyana away from the negative effects of the petroleum industry as well as addressing the challenges and utilising the revenues that accumulate from the resources for the benefits of its citizens.
“Our work is guided by several pillars which include; Good Governance, Increase Value Extraction, Efficiency, Transparency, Accountability, and Evidence-Based Decision Making.
“With this in our agenda, we are also pursuing a legislative agenda that ensures that we establish a modern and technically regulatory body to effectively and efficiently monitor and regulate the industry. This new regulator will be in place before the end of 2021.
“We are also revising our Petroleum Exploration and Production Act of 1986 to ensure that it is in-line with the current realities of the global petroleum industry.”
Speaking about local content, he explained that there is a Guyanese advisory local content panel currently working closely with stakeholders on maximising local companies involved in the entire value chain of the country’s petroleum industry.
In his words, “These local content policies will address the legislative aspect and the development of an enforceable local content regime that will boost Guyanese companies to be innovative and competitive. We will be training our people to join the workforce to effectively manage the petroleum sector. We will continue to work to make sure we create an enabling environment for investors.”