Over 6000 Guyanese employed in the oil and gas industry – Min. Singh

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance and Public Service, Dr Ashni Singh has disclosed that the historic Local Content Act of 2021 has led to the employment of nearly 4,000 locals in the burgeoning oil and gas industry.

Speaking Monday during the presentation of budget 2024 in the National Assembly, Dr Singh revealed that since January 2022 to date, contractors, sub-contractors, and licensees reporting to the Local Content Secretariat have recorded 3,938 local hires.

Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh

Of this amount, 785 were within the first six months of 2023.

Furthermore, of the over 3,000 locals, 824 Guyanese were employed as plant and machine operators, 1,203 as professionals including accountants, lawyers, and engineers, and another 485 as technicians.

“This brings the total number of Guyanese persons employed in the sector to more than 6,000. In accordance with the act, five-year master plans detailing employment, procurement, and capacity development from 33 companies have been received that projected growth by 601 in 2024, 509 in 2025, and 536 in 2026,” the minister disclosed.

The current estimates suggest that US$518 million be procured from Guyanese suppliers providing goods and services.

Dr Singh emphasised that the legislation has facilitated numerous partnerships between local and foreign companies, encouraging collaboration in the emerging petroleum industry.

Notable alliances include joint ventures and partnerships that will be providing shore base facilities, offshore support vessel service, offshore helicopter services, offshore catering services, machining and fabrication services, and hazardous waste management.

These partnerships comply with the act as well as contribute to business expansion, capacity development, and knowledge sharing within the country’s oil and gas industry.

In 2024, a local company for the first time will be providing specialised subsea services through a joint venture with a Norwegian company and will begin operations in February this year.

Other initiatives that are onstream for 2024 include a paid partnership programme with the 45 Tier One contractors targeting 100 paid internships and the development of an enhanced digital platform to allow immediate notification of employment opportunities.

The Local Content Act was passed in the National Assembly in 2021 and is currently undergoing a review to address the loopholes that exist in the current legislation.