‘We’re building our economic base, not only monetising our gas reserves’ – President Ali tells Bloomberg

President Dr Mohamed Irfann Ali was recently interviewed by Bloomberg, a global provider of financial news and information based in the United States (US), in which he emphasised the importance of developing Guyana’s oil and gas reserves expeditiously.

While financial gain is an important factor, President Ali noted that the country’s urgency in exploiting these resources is also driven by the need to build out the country’s economic base and bring in new opportunities.

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali

Additionally, the development of these resources will play a vital role in the country’s transition towards cleaner and renewable energy resources. According to the president, developing countries such as Guyana are not energy-secured and the supply chain of the technology required for the transition is still not at capacity.

“We still have 36 per cent of the world’s energy coming from coal. We still have tens of millions of people around the world who are living in energy poverty …the capital costs of the transition are enormous; developing countries are having great difficulties,” the head of state highlighted.

President Ali did not shy away from the country’s commitment to the environment as he noted that the government will develop the petroleum industry in a safe and sustainable way.

“The time to develop is now, the time to advance our production is now, the time to monetise is now and that is why we are working aggressively … moving from discovery, to operation, but also importantly, moving in an aggressive way to develop the gas resources of Guyana,” he further emphasised.

The exploitation of Guyana’s oil and gas resources is being used as a tool to build out the country’s infrastructure so that it can be integrated with its neighbour countries, including Brazil.

Once the gas resources are developed, a window of opportunities will be opened that justifies the development of a deepwater port in Guyana and that will link Northern Brazil and offer a cheaper way of transport for goods.

When questioned about the overheating of the economy, President Ali informed that the administration is working hard to position Guyana as a leader in energy, food and climate security with the resources that the nation has been blessed with and the important role it plays in preserving its forests, thereby removing the dependence on the oil and gas industry.

“Those are the three things that we are pushing aggressively, building out our human resource capacity, and all of this helps in taming inflation and ensuring also that we invest wisely. We don’t drive the economy into overheating …we have strong fiscal policies, that the resources coming out of oil revenue go directly to invest in areas that will grow the country,” he stated.

Regarding the policies surrounding the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for future explorations, President Ali assured that these will be much more different. Different in the sense that it brings much more proceeds into the country but at the same, they will not drive away investments.