Gov’t hire consultant to look at viability of an oil refinery

GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, January 19, 2017

A consultant has been retained to advise Government on whether investing in an oil refinery is a viable economic option.

In less than one-month, the Government of Guyana will be closer to deciding whether or not it moves forward with the construction of an oil refinery in Guyana.   Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman says that a consultant has been retained by the government that will provide a high feasibility assessment on the way forward in four weeks.

Minister Trotman was at the time addressing the post-cabinet press briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency, where he disclosed that through the auspices of the UK-based Chatham House, Pedro Haas, was identified as a suitable candidate. Hass is the director of advisor services at Hartree Partners in the United States.

Hartree Partners is a merchant commodities firm specializing in energy and its associated industries. The company offers proprietary trading and arbitrage services that include identifying value in the production, refinement, transportation, and consumption of tradable commodities and anticipating opportunities in the supply chain where they may be under or over-valued.

Hass will do a desk review on the feasibility of the oil refinery for government, Minister Trotman said. The minister explained that His Excellency, President David Granger and the Ministries of Natural Resources, and Business have received multiple applications for the establishment several oil refineries in Guyana. “We believe that we should not rely on our own judgment or knowledge or lack thereof on this issue… if it is that the study tells us that this is feasible then I believe we will deal further,” the minister explained. He explained that in this first instance, the study will look at such areas as demand, availability, prices, the economic landscape (looking ahead,) and forecast of constructing an oil refinery in Guyana.

The services of Pedro Haas was secured through the new Petroleum Producers Group, which was established by the Chatham House that has been involved in assisting Guyana to prepare for oil and gas production. Haas is expected to complete the assessment within four weeks of the date of engagement. Minister Trotman explained that the government, through the Ministry of Natural Resources have not concluded discussions with Hartree Partners, but that the government has budgeted as much as $10M for the study.

By Macalia Santos