Guyana receives US$79.6M for seventh oil lift
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Natural Resources Minister, Vickram Bharrat
Natural Resources Minister, Vickram Bharrat
–monies in Natural Resources Fund total US$436M

GUYANA recently received payment for its seventh oil lift, to the tune of US$79,617,561.87, the largest single oil payment the country has received to date. In a statement issued on Monday, the Ministry of Natural Resources said that the aforementioned payment was for 1,047,820 barrels of oil, which was extracted from the Liza Destiny Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel on July 3, 2021.

The seventh oil lift brings the country’s oil extractions to a grand total of 7,056,262 barrels, and accumulative earnings of US$388,777,840.
Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat on Monday informed the 31st Sitting of the National Assembly that this amount, plus royalties, put the total in the Guyana’s Natural Resources Fund (NRF) to US$436 million, which remains untouched.

In defending the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Amendment Bill, Minister Bharrat recommitted the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government’s intention to be transparent in relation to the use and management of the oil funds.

“As the Government of Guyana manages the nation’s patrimony to the benefit of all Guyanese, it remains committed to providing updates on oil lifts and sales, as may be necessary, to ensure that all stakeholders and members of the public are informed,” the ministry said in its statement.

Minister Bharrat further assured the House that he and his colleagues in government “intend to ensure there is strong parliamentary oversight” of the country’s oil revenues.

Earnings from the country’s petroleum sector alone could very well surpass US$500M by the end of the year

More specifically, President Dr. Irfaan Ali had pledged the government’s commitment to even strengthening the systems that govern the use of Guyana’s oil revenues. “We committed, during the campaign, that there will be no secrecy in revenues received by the country from our natural resources, especially oil and gas, and we have stuck to that commitment,” President Ali told reporters during a recent press conference.

He said that in doing so, the government has always ensured that the public is notified of all the monies deposited into the Natural Resources Fund (NRF). The oil earnings, the President related, are also gazetted. Even further, Dr. Ali said that the oil revenues will also be documented Online.
“We are moving a step further in creating a balance sheet that persons can examine, Online, and be kept abreast of revenues and expenditure,” the Head of State said.
Guyana’s petroleum earnings could reach as much as US$500 million by the end of this year.

He reasoned that the NRF, also a Sovereign Wealth Fund, is critical to safeguarding resources for future generations of Guyanese, President Ali said.
He noted, however, that this coincides with the fact that the country has “immediate needs” that have to be financed.
Dr. Ali had affirmed that even if the government decides to dip into the NRF, mechanisms are in place to ensure that any and every withdrawal has to receive the requisite approval from the National Assembly.

“Any projects to be financed from these funds must be approved by the National Assembly,” President Ali stressed.

Added to that, the Head of State said that efforts are underway to craft a new legislative framework to govern the important Natural Resources Fund. Dr. Ali said that even though the PPP/C Government would have liked for the legislation to be presented to Parliament before it goes into recess, the document is still being finalised. “I am aware that there are technical suggestions being transmitted to the Attorney-General, so we can finalise the legislation to take to the National Assembly,” President Ali noted.

Should all go well, the significant pieces of legislation could possibly be presented to the House by the end of this year.
Questioned about a perceived shortfall in the release of information pertaining to the NRF, President Ali asserted that every piece of information that the government has, every discussion they have had and any change in any agreement has been shared with the public.

Currently, even with oil prices on a global rise, Guyana has still been reaping the benefits of a burgeoning petroleum sector.
Guyana sold its first one million barrels of crude on February 19, 2020, raking in nearly US$55 million. In its second million-barrel sale, the country received US$35 million, and another US$46 million as proceeds from the sale of its third million-barrel of crude, and US$49.3 million from its fourth oil lift.

In early March, Guyana also benefitted directly from its petroleum sector, receiving US$61,090,968 (approximately G$13 billion) from the sale of the nation’s fifth oil lift. Further, it earned in excess of US$60 million from the sale of its sixth oil lift, and received US$13.9 million in royalties during the first quarter of this year.

It was reported in May that the country’s total revenue is expected to increase by 17 per cent, with earnings in the petroleum sector alone reaching well over US$500 million by the end of this year.

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