Local content policy stakeholder engagement begins
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, September 6, 2017
The Ministry of Natural Resource began consultations on the draft local content policy framework for the oil and gas sector. The event was held on Wednesday, at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston Georgetown.
The local content policy was developed with input from Consultant Anthony Paul. The Trinidadian Petroleum Specialist conducted a rapid assessment of Guyana’s preparedness for an oil and gas industry, facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
During his presentation, Paul explained that the policy framework seeks to address issues like good governance, beneficial ownership and capacity building.
On good governance, Paul stated, “Good governance and we know that term, but how does that actually work, and the policy framework tries to address that, how do we get good governance of the sector to ensure that value below the ground is translated to benefit above the ground.”
In the case of Guyana, Paul said that the resource is huge and potentially transformational, and therefore “ It needs to be addressed, as it is something that has a significant impact and therefore has to have the eyes of government on it.” Guyana has already established a ministerial committee, to look at the beneficiaries and implementors of the oil and gas sector, which is commendable, he said.
Paul explained that capacity building does not only apply to people, but also to infrastructure. “ You can’t provide fabrication to offshore facilities, unless you have a shore-base that has the ability to import raw materials and export to the offshore facility,” he opined.
The consultant believes that the new oil and gas sector presents a number of opportunities for Guyanese. He explained, “ Most of the money goes to drilling and well services, and in engineering and construction and so, you always hear ‘those are the high technology areas and we can’t get involve in that’ but… each of these things have multiple component parts that are built up to make them, so to provide drilling services, a drill ship is required, that drill ship needs fuel , it need supplies, food and water, persons to provide services such as cleaning and maintainance, logistics ships helicopter.”
Paul said that another aspect the local content policy will address, are the component parts that are needed and how can Guyanese can go after it, and where is the value.
Local content is the input of local firms in the development of an industry. In this case, utilising local services from exploration, production and final product of Guyana’s oil.
Minister Raphael Trotman said the aim is to have the national, local content policy guide future businesses. He said that it the government’s hope that this framework becomes, eventually, a national model for local content, be it in the mining or forestry industry.
“Government will never pretend to have all the answers, like you this is new to us and that is why we have turned to international experts and some here in Guyana. We need partnerships,” Minister Trotman said. He noted that the government has been working with the Political Opposition, ensuring that they have a regular briefing from Exxon Mobil.
He noted that at the end of this process, which will be taken all across the country, the government hopes to have a National Local Content Policy.
Meanwhile, Go-Invest’s CEO Owen Verwey said the policy encourages joint venture partnership which would see local content being maximized.
Verwey encouraged local businesses, educational institutions and government organisations to make the best use of the opportunity, and ensure that the document, once completed, covers their interest and provides them with the awareness of the opportunity and how best to target them.
The Ministry of Natural Resources will facilitate engagements across the country on the policy before it is finalised. The local content policy framework is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
By: Synieka Thorne