Govt committed to good governance, enhanced transparency in O&G industry

Exposes opposition’s shortcoming in petroleum governance

The Government of Guyana has unwavering dedication to ensuring good governance and transparency of country’s petroleum industry, while giving prominence to the slew of measures taken to correct its previous state of affairs.

The Ministry of Natural Resources on Sunday released a comprehensive comparison, exposing previous APNU+AFC Administration’s shortcomings and highlighting the PPP/C Administration’s achievements in direct response to falsehoods that seek to hurt the government’s stellar track record.

For instance, critical regulatory and legislative tasks necessary to effectively manage the sector had been neglected for many years, leading to a lack of preparedness in the country.

The APNU+AFC Government made numerous grave slip-ups during its five-year tenure, which have since been addressed. The government is appalled to see the opposition party now attempting to take a moral high ground and lecture the government on what constitutes effective contract management.

While the government has made significant strides towards a transparent governed industry, the APNU has been disparaging the government’s efforts even without answering for its failed management of the sector.

The government has blasted the opposition’s criticism, stating that it is unwise to say that the current administration is not managing the Stabroek Block contract effectively, as it indicates a lack of understanding of the issue.

Effective contract administration requires strict monitoring and oversight of offshore operations to ensure compliance with the agreement’s terms and to secure benefits for the people of Guyana. This, the statement affirmed, is what the current government is doing.

The government pointed out that the APNU+AFC’s management strategy of the oil and gas sector was characterised by underhanded agreements and abysmal leadership. This was made clear when they secretly negotiated and signed a lopsided oil contract which prevents Guyana from making any changes to the Guyanese people’s share.

The previous APNU/AFC coalition also failed to address the two most critical contract administration needs: instituting a Local Content Act and auditing ExxonMobil’s costs, even after years of public outcry.

Now, Guyana’s oil and gas industry is governed by a modern legal framework, improved contracts, and environmental stringency, achieved in only three years of the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic administration’s tenure.

Landmark projects such as the Gas to Energy project, and legislative strengthening through pieces like the Petroleum Activities Act and the Local Content Act are being implemented to support the sector and ensure that Guyanese benefit.

In addition to this, the government has overhauled the environmental permits to ensure that the contractors are held accountable, while safeguarding Guyana’s environmental credentials. Two modern production sharing agreements (PSAs) have also been introduced to govern deep and shallow water concessions, with improved fiscal terms and a lowered cost recovery ceiling.

The PPP/C have made significant progress in rectifying the governance deficiencies inherited from the APNU+AFC era, which has not only stabilised the sector but also positioned it for more sustainable and inclusive growth.

The government’s ongoing vigilance, adaptation, and community engagement are crucial to ensure that the petroleum sector serves as a catalyst for broad-based economic development in Guyana.