Guyana continues to safeguard the environment as it moves to first oil

DPI, Guyana, Monday, September 16, 2019

As Guyana prepares for oil production in early 2020, systems must be in place to ensure there are operational practices are carried out to safeguard the environment.

On Monday, key government agencies and stakeholders in the oil and gas sector participated in an Enhancing Offshore E&P Regional Capacity; Operational and Environmental Safeguards Conference. The two-day event is being facilitated by Hunt Petty LP.

The session aims to expand dialogue among stakeholders “in promoting best operational practices to safeguard the environment of the common territorial waters of the Caribbean with active offshore E&P programmes.”

In brief remarks, Director of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe described the conference as timely. “While there are both international and national regulations regarding best practices, many of the risks the oil companies face are site-specific requiring detailed background research and precautionary measures that cannot be solved using a generalised framework.”

He explained that it was in this context that the need to address these concerns that oil and gas companies must develop and inculcate a risk management system and operational practices which minimising harmful environmental impacts.

The conference seeks to highlight regional capabilities in the unlikely event of an oil spill.

Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr. Vincent Adams noted that the conference presents the opportunity to discuss the environment and the oil and gas sector. According to Adams, every barrel of oil has a safety component, noting that this is something that is often overlooked.

Over the two days, the delegates will be exposed and engaged in discussions mitigating the risks of oil response, training to maintain competency in oil well control, international guidance in planning emergency response for subsea oil spill among other topics.

Some of the agencies represented in at the conference include the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Department of Energy (DE), Civil Defence Commission (CDC), ExxonMobil, Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) and several others.