‘Getting it right for 2020’- Minister Trotman says all measures in place for Oil and gas sector
DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, February 7, 2018
The Government of Guyana has adopted a ‘fast-paced’ but careful approach as it relates to putting the necessary mechanisms in place to facilitate the emerging oil and gas sector, which will come fully on stream in the year 2020.
Speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI), on the sidelines of the inaugural Guyana Petroleum Business Summit and Exposition (GIPEX) today, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman said that the fundamentals have been put in place for the impending oil boom.
“There is the fiscal and taxation side of it which is the responsibility of the Minister of Finance, he is working overtime. I know of his staff at the Ministry, GRA [Guyana Revenue Authority], the Bureau of Statistics, they are working to boost capacity and we are getting support from international agencies.”
He alluded to the work that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MoPI) is conducting to ensure that road and onshore infrastructure, as well as the international airports at Timehri and Ogle, are of the required standard.
The work of the Maritime Administration (MARAD) was also pointed out. The Ministry of Business is working assiduously to guarantee that there is sufficient local content.
“That means that Guyanese, individuals, partnerships, businesses, big companies have a stake, have a say in this and so I know that work is happening there.”
The Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) that falls under the purview of the Business Ministry, the Minister said, was pivotal to the success of GIPEX 2018.
He reminded of the critical role of the agencies that fall under the ambit of the Ministry of the Presidency (MoTP) such as the Department of the Environment (DoE), Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The EPA is charged with the task of issuing environmental permits and licenses following strict scrutiny.
The Natural Resources Ministry recently completed an overhaul of the 1986 Petroleum Act and has worked along with the Finance Ministry to draft the Natural Resource Fund Bill or the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) Bill, which will be tabled later this year.
In 2017, the Petroleum Commission of Guyana was taken to the National Assembly, however, Minister Trotman informed that the Bill is being held back to facilitate some changes.
He said that, “Cabinet has given me the approval to come back to make some changes to make it more inclusive, it is a national asset, not to be seen in a partisan way even though the intention is not for us to control, we don’t want that accusation to be made for it to permeate because this is a national resource”.
According to the Natural Resources Minister, on the legislative front, experts have been hired to boost the Ministry’s capacity on a wide scale.
In relation to preparation for the eventuality of oil spills, the CDC has a draft national response plan, and Government will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Trinidad and Tobago.
“One of the issues we plan to raise with them is their ability to assist and respond in the event of an accident.”
Meanwhile, the minister has expressed his elation with the response to GIPEX 2018, particularly with the participation of the major oil companies from around the world.
“We are happy to introduce them to local entrepreneurs and business houses who are looking for partners as well and we are happy that Guyanese as well could have a chance to see how this industry is beginning to transform.”
The registration of delegates, he said, has been high with over four hundred delegates registered.
Noteworthy, the Minister said hotels and restaurants are benefitting from the influx of visitors during this period.
By: Stacy Carmichael
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