Department of Energy issues several tenders as it builds capacity

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Department of Energy has issued several tenders for international experts to, among other things, assist Guyana in a cost recovery audit and review of the Liza Phase Two development plan.

Director of the Department, Dr. Mark Bynoe, in his first press conference since being appointed three months ago, noted the idea of the tenders is to build the department’s capacity while ensuring a strong regulatory and legislative framework is set up to govern the oil and gas industry.

Director of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe.

“As we seek to build the capacity of the department, in the short term, using external resources, we continue to promote mentoring and capacity building as the philosophy going forward,” Dr. Bynoe explained.

In relation to the cost recovery audit, Dr. Bynoe said the tender invites international firms to assist in the completion of the first audit under the existing Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with ExxonMobil and its partners.

The job will see a collaborative and institutional capacity building approach being utilised during the conduct of the audit, Dr. Bynoe explained.

The Department of Energy has also tendered for a firm to assist in the review and approval with knowledge of the Liza Phase Two field development plan. “We have received numerous expressions of interests and will soon be moving towards a call for technical and financial proposals.”

Dr Bynoe added that the department is also considering hiring external legal assistance to help build a robust framework that ensures maximum net returns to Guyanese.

The department is currently reviewing the current legal and regulatory framework for the oil and gas sector. This includes the revision and possible replacement of legislation. A presentation is expected to be made to the department in the following week.

It will also utilise external resources as it finalises the Local Content Policy and to conduct a needs assessment of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) readiness to regulate the oil and gas sector, from an environmental perspective.

The Department of Energy was established in August of this year to manage the hydrocarbon resources while seeking to increase the net benefit accruing to Guyana.

The department has absorbed the four members of staff from the Petroleum Directorate which was under the purview of the Ministry of Natural Resources. The staff has been augmented by the recruitment of a director, an energy advisor, two accounts, a procurement specialist, office manager and confidential secretary.

It also works closely with the Petroleum Department within the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).

“The structure of the department will evolve in a fit for purpose manner with a heavy focus on taking a minimalist approach to resource management in collaboration with mandate agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, the Audit Office of Guyana and the Guyana Revenue Authority,” Dr. Bynoe said.

The Department of Energy will eventually become a ministry with responsibility for all forms of energy. It will include semi-autonomous regulatory agencies reporting to it. Dr. Bynoe said he is cognisant that these institutions need to be strong so they can be successful.

Tiffny Rhodius.

Image by Leon Leung.

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