Oil Spill Response Plan, a work in progress- Minister Harmon

DPI, GUYANA, Monday, February 26, 2018

Guyana’s Oil Spill Response Plan is a work in progress and is a collaborative effort among several agencies and stakeholders.

This was clarified by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, at the post-Cabinet press conference at the Ministry of the Presidency (MoTP) on Thursday, February 22. He explained that the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), the Department of the Environment (DoE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and several communities, along with ExxonMobil are part of this process.

“We trust that by the end of it we will have a plan that we are all comfortable with. I can say that we are getting good advice. We are getting international best practices in this regard.”

The Minister also clarified that there is currently no engagement between the Government and any company in relation to the setting up of a local oil refinery.

Minister Harmon, however, did not discount that there may be private companies which are looking at the possibility of setting up refineries in various parts of the country.

In response to a question posed by the media, Minister Harmon said the legislation, which will see the establishment of the Petroleum Commission, is presently before a Parliamentary Select Committee but the advice given suggests that there may have to be an overhaul of some of the bill’s provisions.

The government, the State Minister explained, is engaged with several international agencies as it relates to the oil and gas sector including the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He added that on a governmental level, Guyana is not in discussion with the United States of America (USA) in relation to the petroleum sector.

By: Stacy Carmichael

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