New Department of Energy to focus on oil and gas only- Min. Harmon

DPI, GUYANA, Friday March 9, 2018

Cabinet on Tuesday accepted the proposal by Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman to establish a specialised Department of Energy to administer the affairs of Guyana’s Oil and Gas sector.

This was disclosed by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at today’s post-Cabinet press conference.

Owing to the complexity of the task of administering the resources of the new industry, Minister Harmon said, it was felt that the department should be set up under the aegis of the Ministry of the Presidency (MoTP) for its management.

The organisational structure of the department, legislation to be introduced for the sector, negotiations with potential investors, issuance of exploration and production licenses, engagement of technical experts, review of fiscal contractual terms, public communication responsibilities, establishment of the Sovereign Wealth Fund and the transfer of responsibilities from the Natural Resources Ministry to the department are some of the areas to be examined.

Minister Harmon said the “ministerial quintet appointed by the cabinet to advise on matters related to the oil and gas sector will make recommendations with regards to its establishment and other matters concerning the functioning of the department.”

The quintet includes MinisterTrotman, Minister Harmon and the Ministers of Finance, Public Infrastructure and Business.

Minister Harmon clarified that the Department of Energy will initially deal with matters related exclusively to the oil and gas sector. “Ultimately the Department of Energy will deal with all matters relating to energy but as it stands right now, those matters that relate to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure will remain there.”

Further, in response to a question posed by the media, Minister Harmon said the establishment of a new Ministry will create more bureaucracy, hence the Government’s decision to the create the Department of Energy, which will function in like manner as the Department of the Environment and other agencies, which fall under the purview of the MoTP.

 

By: Stacy Carmichael

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