Govt committed to building world-class petroleum sector – Pres. Granger
─ New ministry will be established to oversee sector, Department of Energy interim measure
─ Department of Energy to review agreements with ExxonMobil, all other aspects related to emerging sector
─ Department placed under purview of Ministry of the Presidency to ensure highest scrutiny
─ High-level experts being recruited
─ Govt negotiated for best possible deal with ExxonMobil given circumstances at the time
DPI, Guyana, Friday, August 31, 2018
President David Granger says his government is cognisant of the continuous oil discoveries offshore Guyana and is putting measures in place to ensure the building of a world-class petroleum sector.
The president, who was addressing members of the local media corps today at the Ministry of the Presidency, said the recently established Department of Energy has a wide range of issues to address as it relates to the regulation of the petroleum sector.
“We are conscious of the international environment, we are conscious of our commitment, we are conscious of the continuous discoveries of large amounts of petroleum offshore Guyana and we intend to establish a world-class petroleum sector that is well regulated,” President Granger posited.
He pointed out that it will take some time for international experts to be recruited since the expertise is lacking locally.
The president noted that the Department of Energy is an interim measure since the small unit within the Ministry of Natural Resources did not have the capacity to “bear the burden” of a world-class petroleum industry.
The decision to establish the Department of Energy, the president noted, was birthed as a result of the Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman’s request for the responsibility of petroleum to be removed from that ministry.
The president said the government is still in the early stages of setting up the department but in due course, there will be a Ministry of Energy or Petroleum.
It was noted too that the department was deliberately placed under the purview of the Ministry of the Presidency to ensure it is subjected to the highest level of scrutiny.
“We will have the opportunity to query any decisions made and to ensure that the interest of the Guyanese people is protected,” the president assured.
As it relates to the agreements with ExxonMobil, the Head of State said these will be subject to review by the Department of Energy, as well as all other aspects related to the emerging sector.
However, he reminded that once international contracts have been signed there is no room for renegotiation, “we will move forward and ensure we get the best advice before we engage in any other negotiations.”
Given the circumstances at the time, the president believes the government negotiated with ExxonMobil for what was possible at the time, under the Product Sharing Agreement.
Images: Keno George/Department of Public Information