Competitive bidding for oil and gas blocks open to locals – VP Jagdeo

-Experience requirements relaxed to ensure more participation from local companies

To ensure that local bidders can contest for the 14 offshore oil blocks being auctioned, the government has relaxed the experience requirements to foster more inclusivity in the process. Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo indicated this during his press conference on April 13, 2023, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

“We could have gone in the auction and said that only experienced companies can bid, but that would be only oil and gas companies. We went a bit low on the experience to allow locals to bid too, so I am hoping that they can put in some bids, and then they can make a lot of money too,” he said.

On December 9, 2022, government launched the licensing round for 14 offshore blocks. The original deadline for submissions was April 14, 2023, but is now extended to July 2023.

Additionally, the extension of the deadline for Guyana’s first competitive offshore oil and gas licensing round will allow for a thorough examination of the legislation and Product Sharing Agreement (PSA).

In relation to the terms and guidelines for this licensing round, Dr Jagdeo clarified that he does not anticipate the government changing any of the guidelines on the licensing round.

“It’s a lot of work. We have gone through a lot of the issues that we know have to be modernised. And we still need time to consult on the law,” the VP explained.

The vice president advised that following the new deadline for submission in mid-July, government should be able to make a swift decision in awarding contracts, since by this time, a new PSA and legislation would be in place.

Government had committed to the reformation of the Natural Resources Fund Act (NRF), new fiscal terms, as well as a new PSA, all of which are being followed up.

Further, the EPA permits have seen a notable transition from being extremely weak to veering closer to international standards in some areas and exceeding these standards in others.

“For example, on the carbon tax, we have exceeded some international standards for these permits. We’ve strengthened the licensing regime, and we are doing a more rigorous engagement with the licensing regime review. These are all things that we promised and have been doing to improve the framework,” he said.