More than 500 Guyanese employed by Exxon in first quarter of 2018 – 855 Guyanese companies registered with supply portal

DPI, GUYANA, Saturday, May 19, 2018

Guyanese represent fifty-two percent of ExxonMobil’s local workforce while 227 Guyanese companies supplied its oil and gas operations in 2018.

Exxon’s Government and Public Affairs Director, Kimberly Brasington, provided data to the Department of Public Information (DPI) which indicated that 585 Guyanese were employed on the drill rigs, shore bases and affiliate office at the end of March.

These workers were drawn from Exxon’s subcontracted companies. JSL International, a registered Guyanese company, which is one such company providing Guyanese staff for the Nobel Drilling.

The Noble Bob Douglas has been contracted to drill the production wells for ‘First Oil’ in 2020. The drillship currently has 160 personnel on board of which 23 are Guyanese in the positions of catering, roustabouts, clerks, logistics and one doctor.

Exxon also provided 61,000 training hours for workers and hired three facilities engineer graduates, two from the University of Guyana and one from the University of the West Indies, in March.

Exxon is also providing training to Guyanese to fulfil key responsibilities including to serve as primary subsea engineering maintenance team, coordinate equipment strategy and operational issues and be part of the company’s emergency response team.

The data also shows that 48 percent of the workforce includes non-Guyanese and CARICOM (Caribbean Community) workers during the first quarter of 2018.

“We take building local content seriously and have demonstrated that through action and capacity building,” Brasington said. This also applies to the suppliers Exxon uses in its operations.

Building supplier capacity

Exxon spent US$14Million with 227 Guyanese suppliers by the first quarter of this year. Brasington explained these are non-duplicate Guyanese owned companies. Exxon also worked with 35 foreign-owned company or CARICOM companies, who had locally registered businesses.

At the end of 2017, Exxon had used 309 Guyanese owned companies along the supply chain or the ‘knock-on effect’ of the industry, Brasington pointed out.

“The direct opportunities with ExxonMobil are relatively small in number, compared to the larger scale when you look at the entire picture of contractors working to support ExxonMobil’s operations in Guyana,” Brasington explained.

Exxon is also building supplier capacity through its Centre for Local Business Development. Since its establishment eight months ago, 1,730 persons, including businesses, have been trained in four courses on energy literacy.

Meanwhile, the Centre has registered 1,163 companies on its Supplier Registration Portal (SRP) of which 855 are Guyanese companies.

Local content policy consultations

Promoting local content use in the oil and gas industry is a primary focus for the government as it puts in place the regulatory framework for the industry.

This week, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman said the second draft of the Local Content Policy Framework has been posted to its Ministry’s website after input from stakeholder consultations.

Another round of consultations is scheduled for the second draft later this year. Minister Trotman said the Ministry of Business will take the lead on the Local Content Policy Framework.

Minister Trotman acknowledged that the government is pained by the disaffection over local content use in the industry but he cautioned, “We can’t just move from zero to legislation because you’ve got to have the institutional capacity to enforce that legislation.”

By Tiffny Rhodius

Image by Keno George