“New experts” in oil called out for focusing on worst-case scenarios for political interests

DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, March 27, 2018

United States Ambassador, Perry Holloway today took a swipe at the “new experts” in oil and gas who focus primarily on the worst-case scenarios in the industry to suit their political interests when addressing matters in the sector.

Ambassador Holloway was speaking during the oil and technology panel discussion of the GTT Innov8 Business Forum hosted at the Marriott Hotel.

Perry Holloway, US Ambassador.

The panel also included British High Commissioner, Greg Quinn, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT), Justin Nedd, Chief Executive Officer of XL Group, Colin Laird, and Country Manager of ExxonMobil, Guyana, Rod Henson.

The Ambassador applauded Guyanese for the steps taken, thus far, to become “oil smart,” pointing to the major transformation that is forthcoming.

According to Holloway, with the estimated 3.2 billion barrels of confirmed oil reserves, Guyana falls in the category of the top 30 countries in terms of per capita. The industry, Ambassador Holloway said, will create thousands of jobs for Guyana.

However, he noted that “what your government, whichever government that may be, does with the oil revenues and if they invest it in infrastructure, education, security, health, agriculture that is where the incredible job creation will be”.

Further, the Ambassador said over time, with dedication and commitment to work, he believes that every Guyanese has the potential to become richer.

High Commissioner Quinn, who is presently in Northern Ireland, engaged in the discussion via video conferencing and reiterated that once managed properly, oil has the potential to significantly develop Guyana.

“What you will see is large amounts of money that will allow the government to spend for development … we need to see proper spending, we need to see the Sovereign Wealth Fund, work on that is ongoing but it really needs to be put in place before first oil comes on stream.”

High Commissioner Quinn noted too that cooperation is key to moving the industry forward.

The role of technology in the emerging industry was also highlighted during the panel discussion.  In this vein, GTT’s CEO noted that the company is poised to be a major player in the oil and gas industry, owing to the fact that it has a significant investment in subsea assets that bring internet onshore.

According to Nedd, being able to provide internet and other technological services through partnerships in the industry is a focus of GTT.

CEO, XL Group, Colin Laird underscored the importance of Guyana preparing for oil and gas by ensuring that the necessary skill sets and facilities are available, but noted that this process needs to begin now.

Partnership with experienced companies, Laird said, is key to the preparatory efforts.

“I believe there is a wide range of other opportunities out there to be discovered and that will really transform this country,” he reasoned.

Meantime, ExxonMobil’s Country Manager, in his contribution to the discussion, said while he cannot say definitively what the future will look like, with production estimated at 500,000 barrels per day, by 2030 Guyana would have received oil revenues for 10 years.

For the most part, Henson said that Guyana’s oil sector is still geologically and financially unpredictable.

The industry is majorly technology-driven with information and data management playing significant roles in the process.

Henson noted that “the buzz words in our industry today is digitalisation, the digital oil field, the integrated oil field, so that’s where companies leverage real-time asset data. We use advanced analytic tools and remote operating practices to kind of increase our performance”.

Automation, robotics, drone technology and Behavioural Science were highlighted as other important aspects of the industry.

 

By: Stacy Carmichael

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