– support to be directed to Faculty of Engineering and Technology
MAJOR improvements are in the pipeline for the University of Guyana (UG)’s Faculty of Engineering and Technology, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the university and one of the world’s largest oil field service companies, Halliburton.
The MoU, which was signed on the sidelines of the second Guyana International Petroleum Business Summit and Exhibition (GIPEX), on Thursday, will see UG benefiting from support valued about US$2.2 million.
“This was a philanthropic understanding for about US$2.2 million in lab equipment, staff and other support,” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Philanthropy, Alumni and Civic Engagement (PACE), Professor Paloma Mohamed, who signed the MoU on behalf of UG.
The cooperation between UG and Halliburton was birthed in May this year, during a meeting which was brokered by Guyana’s Department of Energy, in Houston, Texas.
UG and Halliburton had agreed to collaborate on projects which will focus on staff development, programme and teaching support, and expert engagements.
The agreement will also address the provision of specific software support, in the first instance, for creating and equipping a Drilling Fluids Laboratory for teaching purposes. The required lab equipment includes mud balance, viscometers, HPHT filter press, retorts, fumehoods, lab glassware, lab coats, stationery supplies, racking, plastic bottles, and other various lab-specific consumables.
“We are grateful for this investment in our human capital and we believe as we continue to grapple with discussions around local content, enhancing capacities and ensuring Guyana is able to retain a substantial portion of oil revenues, the companies will continue to demonstrate this kind of commitment,” said Director of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe.
Dr. Bynoe said cooperation between stakeholders in the oil and gas industry is not just about money that is earned, but it is about the knowledge that is transferred and the technologies that are shared.
There have been multiple discussions on how companies like Halliburton could assist Guyana in building capacity, said the director of the department of energy, adding that the MoU between UG and Halliburton is a tangible demonstration of what needs to be done as Guyana seeks to build capacity to address the oil and gas sector and the emerging “new Guyana.”
Halliburton’s Area Manager of the Caribbean, Franco Delano, said the company is indeed committed to ensuring that there is a transfer of knowledge and technology.
“We are really proud to be part of this business with you and we would like to say that in addition to monetary support, our intention is to transfer knowledge and technology,” said Delano.
Halliburton is an American multinational corporation which has operations in more than 70 countries. It owns hundreds of subsidiaries, affiliates, branches, brands, and divisions worldwide and employs approximately 55,000 people.
Founded in 1919, Halliburton is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry. With approximately 60,000 employees, representing 140 nationalities in more than 80 countries, the company helps its customers maximize value throughout the lifecycle of the reservoir – from locating hydrocarbons and managing geological data, to drilling and formation evaluation, well construction and completion, and optimising production throughout the life of the asset.
Halliburton joins companies like CGX and ExxonMobil which have made contributions to the capacity building in Guyana. Dr Bynoe said the Department of Energy is also in discussions with Tullow, which has spoken about shared prosperity.
“These companies have not just been putting money into capacity building at the university level but there has also been support for TVET, and we want to drill down to primary schools since we want people more conversant for oil and gas,” said Dr. Bynoe.