Exxon spent $96.4B
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ExxonMobil Guyana’s President, Alistair Routledge
ExxonMobil Guyana’s President, Alistair Routledge

–on procuring local goods and services over past six years
–Guyanese comprise 53 per cent of company’s workforce

SINCE 2015, ExxonMobil Guyana and its partners have spent an accumulated sum of $96.4 billion on procuring goods and services from local companies. In a statement issued on Monday, the oil company said that during the first half of 2021 alone, it expended nearly $19 billion on payment to more than 750 Guyanese vendors of goods and services ranging from foodstuff to engineering. “This has generated, either directly or indirectly, an economic impact of $23.1 billion,” the company said.

It explained that outreach to local businesses continued through the ‘Centre for Local Business Development’, with 141 electronic tender notifications being issued to over 3,000 Guyanese companies, as well as the mentoring of seven Guyanese companies in an effort to make them compliant in international standards.

Added to that, ExxonMobil Guyana also highlighted its record local-content growth during the first half of 2021. The company related that as of June 2021, 2,865 Guyanese were supporting the company’s overall activities, representing 53 per cent of its total workforce.

ExxonMobil said that its Guyanese workforce grew by 38 per cent between June 2020 and June 2021. In June 2020, the company had in its employ 2,070 Guyanese, and by June 2021, that figure increased to 2,865. The company indicated, too, that the aforementioned figures included 568 women.

“More than 82,000 hours of training were provided to Guyanese staff working on ExxonMobil Guyana activities, over 85 per cent of which were in Professional, Technical and Craft, and Trade training areas,” the company said in its statement.

It added that despite the pandemic-related challenges, ExxonMobil Guyana and its prime contractors achieved continued growth in capacity building, and opportunities for Guyanese during the first half of 2021. “This was reflected in the Half- Year 2021 Report, which was recently submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources,” ExxonMobil said.

It was only recently that a United Nations (UN) report highlighted that between 2018 and 2020, Guyana’s oil-and-gas sector benefitted from investments totalling US$3.5 billion. Oil production began in 2020, generating growth of 43.5 per cent in Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while non-oil GDP declined by 6.8 per cent in the wake of the pandemic. The contribution of the petroleum sector to Guyana’s development is also evidenced by Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows, which have been averaging US$1.2 billion since 2018, juxtaposed with an average of US$200 million per year, between 2000 and 2017.

“Most of those investment flows are destined for the energy sector, which absorbed 98 per cent of the FDI entering the country in 2020,” the UN Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) report stated. It explained that in addition to the direct investments, Guyana also benefitted from economic injections for the provision of a myriad of support services from local companies.

At the weekend, a Caribbean Quarterly Bulletin published by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) said that Guyana’s total export earnings are expected to shoot up to US$8 billion by 2024, with the petroleum sector being the primary income earner.

The report, titled, ‘The Fragile Path to Recovery’, projected that the country’s petroleum earnings will reach US$5.5 billion by 2024.

It was only recently that Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat informed the 31st Sitting of the National Assembly that Guyana’s Natural Resources Fund (NRF) contained a total of US$436 million, which remains untouched.

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.

Further, it earned in excess of US$60 million from the sale of its sixth oil lift, and US$79.6 million for its seventh. The country also received US$13.9 million in royalties during the first quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, Alistair Routledge, ExxonMobil Guyana’s President reaffirmed the company’s commitment to working collaboratively with the government to support the development of a framework that manages local content in a realistic and sustainable way. “We are proud to have been able to deliver these local-content figures which are a reflection of tangible progress. Further growth is expected, and ExxonMobil will continue to work with Guyanese businesses to build local content together,” Routledge said.

With three sanctioned projects in Liza Phase 1, Phase 2 and Payara, and a fourth project, Yellowtail up for approval, Routledge added that timely approvals and processes are vital to local-content development.

“It is important to identify and invest in successive projects that allow for the expansion of efficient operations to provide sustainable employment opportunities, local business growth, and broader economic development across Guyana,” he surmised.

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