By Vishani Ragobeer
THE Guyana Oil and Gas Energy Chamber (GOGEC) will be creating a “special team” to review the permits issued for the Payara and Liza Phases One and Two projects, according to GOGEC President, Manniram Prashad.
GOGEC, in a statement to the media, called for the release of the regulatory permits for the Liza Phases One and Two projects of Guyana’s nascent oil and gas industry. Already, the body indicated that it has received the Payara permits which are currently being perused.
In the statement, Prashad said once the special team is set up and has been able to review the permits, the findings of the review will be released.
“There are very limited people in Guyana who have that kind of knowledge because oil is very new to us but I will get a team of private sector personnel and others to have a look at it,” Prashad said in an invited comment.
He emphasised that there are Guyanese who have been keenly following the developments of the oil and gas sector here, and who he believes would sufficiently contribute to the review of the permits.
“There are already some local people who have an understanding of that and if possible, we’ll get regional people — like Trinidad — because we are a big organisation and people would offer suggestions to us,” the President said.
He, however, is not keen on seeking the assistance of regional or international experts before engaging the Guyanese experts.
“If we get them (regional and international experts) that’s good but we’ll use the expertise of the people that we know,” Prashad said seriously, but later added, “The more the merrier.”
According to him, it is important the persons who will be reviewing each of the permits must be stakeholders who have knowledge in the regulatory frameworks, in the environment and the other areas of under review.
Though GOGEC will release a full statement on its findings after the review of all the permit are completed, Prashad related that from initial perusal, the Payara project seems to be more beneficial to Guyanese than the first two permits.
Prashad also highlighted how pleased he was with the government’s transparency efforts. He said the release of the Payara permits were a signal of the government’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
“We are happy that the Vice-President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, has publicly stated that the Liza Permits will be released,” he said. He also registered his pleasure that President, Dr. Irfaan Ali has pledged that his government will be transparent and will involve all stakeholders in the oil and gas industry, including the media, and that he will ensure that the proceeds from this sector will be beneficial to all Guyanese.