ExxonMobil appears before Natural Resources Sectoral Committee
- Country Manager says progress in local content development made
DPI, Guyana, Friday, July 6, 2018
ExxonMobil has made stellar progress in building local capacity in oil and gas, Country Manager Rod Henson, told the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee (PAC) on Natural Resources today.
Henson updated the committee on the developments made to date in the industry, especially the Liza Field. A significant portion of the discussion focused on local content.
Henson noted more than 50 percent of the company’s workforce is Guyanese. He added the company has invested a total of US$21Million in 227 local companies for the first quarter of the year.
“I’m very happy with where we are today. I recognise the importance and the interest in it. I can assure you that we and our contractors work on this every single day. We are not where we’re going to be those numbers are going to continue to improve over time but again quite happy with where we are today,” Henson said, concluding his presentation.
Henson repeatedly assured the committee that the company remains apolitical in its business dealings. These had to be made following questions by Opposition Member of Parliament, Pauline Sukahi who asked why the company was funding political projects refereeing to the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS).
“ExxonMobil is not involved in politics in Guyana. We don’t choose sides we’re apolitical. We’re not funding any political parties, any political sides, any political initiatives,” Henson said.
Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan interjected noting it is regrettable the hearing was being sidetracked by political motives. He told the committee the GSDS is not a political initiative but a government one.
ExxonMobil Foundation recently announced a US$10Million grant to Conservational International (CI) that will see the University of Guyana (UG) being the beneficiary. The five-year funding will see Conservation International Guyana and UG teaming up to deliver environmental innovation and sustainable projects.
ExxonMobil is expected to begin oil production in the early half of 2020.
The Parliamentary Sectoral Committee (PAC) on Natural Resources is a bi-partisan oversight committee that has the power to examine all policies and administration for each sector to determine whether the execution of Government policy is in consonance with the principle of good governance and in the best interest of the nation. The Committee is headed by Opposition Member of Parliament, Odinga Lumumba.
By: Tiffny Rhodius
Images: Jules Gibson