-Falkland Islands willing to share information with Guyana ahead of oil production
AUTHORITIES in Falkland Islands are willing to share information about oil and gas exploration with Guyana, as both countries prepare for production by 2020.
This is according to Ian Hansen, a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands who is presently in Guyana. He was at the time speaking at a press conference hosted by Greg Quinn, the United Kingdom’s (UK) High Commissioner to Guyana.
Quinn, who weighed in at a minimum, offered that Guyana and Falkland Islands share similarities in their recent oil find. Among them are that both countries are drilling about 150 miles offshore; drilling is being done in deep-water and there are similar considerations about a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), local content and protection of the environment. Both countries are involved in territorial controversy with Venezuela laying claims to a large portion of Guyana and Argentina claiming the Falklands as theirs.
However, the High Commissioner announced that the find so far in Falkland Islands is estimated at 300 million barrels. Several studies online indicate though that this amount could reach about one billion barrels. Guyana’s find of 1.4 billion barrels so far is estimated as the largest in this part of the hemisphere in recent times.
And, because the two countries find themselves in a similar situation at the similar time, Hansen contended that it would be beneficial if the two countries shared information – an offer Falkland Islands remain open to.
“It’s interesting that both Guyana and Falkland Islands are at the same place at this point in time in relation to oil exploration. I think it would be advantageous to both our countries to compare notes to see where we are; to see if one of us has missed something,” he offered.
He said that his country would not have a problem sharing information with Guyana since there is no secret to hide and reciprocation will also benefit them.
“Yes, obviously we stand ready to share information that we have with Guyana because there is nothing to hide. There is no secret. Whatever we have learnt through consultancy, we can share that with Guyana to help in whatever way we can,” the Legislative Assembly member said.
Hansen was keen to note however, that the only information which would be kept private are the agreements between the countries and the exploration companies.
Asked about the progress Falkland Islands has made in its preparatory works, the visiting official shared that “significant efforts” have been made to explore oil producing countries like Norway, to see and adopt best practices.
Like Guyana, he said that efforts are also being made to create SWF, which looks similar to the one in Norway. He contended that that country has the best model of a SWF and that is why his country opted to replicate it.
In relation to other preparatory works, Hansen explained that Falklands have had to produce a huge amount of legislation over the last five years to ensure we have every area covered; and examine the environmental impact, which he said should be extremely important to both countries. With a population of less than 4, 000, the visiting official acknowledged that his country lacks the technical capacity to fully spearhead the oil and gas exploration. As such, he said that the country “has gone worldwide to get support”.
“We spend a lot of money on getting support from countries with experience in the oil and gas sector,” Hansen added.