Guyana prepares for managing oil sector


…ropes in U.S. as resource partner
THE government has begun to aggressively implement systems to manage the new and potentially huge and exciting oil and gas sector here, to the extent that it has already roped in the United States as a resource partner in offshore drilling.
The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is conducting a workshop with the Guyana government in offshore oil and gas discovery, reservoir management, and unitisation.
The three-day workshop, which convened yesterday at Cara Lodge Suites, Quamina Street in the city, is aimed at providing an introduction to the U.S. experience for the development of offshore oil and gas resources, with emphasis on regulatory processes and responsibilities.
It is also aimed at ensuring the underlying conservation principles for exploration of hydrocarbon resources are shared by many nations. Discussions will also be held on how the principles are applied for the U.S. systems of laws, regulations, and implementation policy that continues to evolve.
The discussion is also intended to provide additional insight for management of hydrocarbon resources for the people of Guyana, and the knowledge, feedback and the mutual exchange of ideas the programme fosters will benefit all interested in resource management.
Addressing stakeholders at the workshop, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Robert Persaud, noted that the engagement is not the first of its kind here, as the two governments had similar exercises over the last six months. Several other countries are also benefiting from the initiative.
Minister Persaud deemed the initiative as timely, since there are two companies drilling offshore Guyana for oil and gas. He noted that the activities are going according to plan.
According to the minister, “While we are not in a position to say we are sure about discovery, certainly, based on all the geological simulation and the work that has been done, and the millions of dollars that have been expended, there is some level of expectation”.
Persaud disclosed that the government has already started discussions with the U.S. government and has also engaged other partners to ensure that the various agencies are resourced and can manage the new sector.
“We have a legislative framework and that is currently under review”. He further disclosed that some three weeks ago a team from the Commonwealth started work on reviewing Guyana’s legislation.
He cited preparation as an important aspect for the new and emerging sector.
“All of us are aware that we ought not to wait until we discover (oil) and then start to get our act together; it’s about getting our act together very early so that we can properly manage and account for the sector”, he pointed out.
According to Persaud, government has looked at various concepts, such as reservoir management, and unitisation, noting that unitisation is covered in Guyana’s legislation.
He added that there are many complex issues that would have to be addressed once the point of discovery is reached. However, having them addressed will aid in the post-discovery period.