New Gold, Big Oil and Clean Energy for a Better 21st Century Guyana

HEADLINE news from Guyana today continues to amaze even those who — like the Trinidadian calypsonian ‘Mighty Chalkdust’ several decades ago, warned Caribbean citizens (and leaders) not to poke fun at Guyanese because of prevailing economic and social conditions in their homeland because ‘All we have is sea water and sand’ — always had confidence that Good Governance would ‘One Day’ cause them to stop laughing and eat their words.

Take these four headlines from OilNOW, an online-based information and resource centre feeding the world with facts about new developments in Guyana’s fast-emerging oil-and-gas sector: ‘150 Companies and Four Heads of State Confirmed for February Energy Conference’; ‘CGX Delivers Historic Discovery after More Than Two decades on the Hunt’; ‘Exxon Delivered Big results in Guyana Last Year as Discoveries Plummeted Globally’ and ‘Exxon’s Chairman to attend February 2022 energy conference in Guyana.’

The gold and oil items are all interconnected with the upcoming Guyana Energy Conference on February 15-18 at the Guyana Marriott Hotel.
The item about the Energy Conference reads in part:

Response to the International Energy Conference has been overwhelming so far with around 150 companies and four heads of state confirmed for the flagship event.

“We have about 150 companies registered, some include local companies as well as those coming from Asia, Africa and parts of the Caribbean,” Angenie Abel, Chief Executive Officer for the event told OilNOW.

Key sponsors include ExxonMobil Guyana, GO Logistics Guyana, local telecommunications company GTT, SBM Offshore, Stena Drilling, TechnipFMC and Baker Hughes, among others.

OilNOW is also supporting the event as Networking Partner.
Touching on what will set the event apart from previous oil and gas conferences and exhibitions, she said significant focus will be placed on a sustainable energy future and the event will feature a strong line-up of speakers and key participants.

“This would be the first time we host four heads of state in Guyana for an energy event: President Santokhi of Suriname, Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados, President Nana Akufo–Addo of Ghana and His Excellency Dr. Irfaan Ali.

“The aim is to facilitate all facets of the conversation that include the pathways and policies needed to shape this future,” Abel said.
I happened to be working in Guyana when Omai and CGX came, both energised and driven by their research findings largely unknown to the host country mired in debt and struggling to both survive and revive — and today Omai, the biggest player in the metal trade has found more gold; and CGK has hit on more oil.

And while pipelines are shutting-down elsewhere after being drained by big oil, most are shipping rigs to Guyana, the world’s new international oil frontier, where their profit margins are expected to skyrocket and the government is working to ensure revenues from royalties and related taxes are spent to also progressively turnaround the nation’s developmental fortunes and make life better for all in a nation still-very-divided, politically.

Oil prices are at an unprecedented seven-year high globally, with OPEC production at an all-time low, but with prices speeding towards US $100 per barrel, big OPEC producers that together cut production by ten million barrels per day in 2020 are now rushing to rush production increases, starting March 2022.

Oil and Gas is also in crisis in Europe, where energy prices are now at alarming rates and despite the USA pressing Germany to stop the Nordstream pipeline from Russia, the Germans and Europeans know that more than 40 per cent of their gas comes from Russia — and they can’t afford to have Moscow turn-off the tap.

Europe is so boxed-in with Nordstream that the International Energy Agency (IEA) is advising that with complications and uncertainties about nations changing energy sources, the only way out is to make another clean-energy switch, this time to nuclear fuel.

Washington’s old hunt for new markets for new US gas supplies saw then Vice President Joe Biden – back in 2015 as VP to President Barack Obama – summon Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations to Washington to invite them to pullout of the PetroCaribe agreement with Venezuela.

Biden promised the Caribbean leaders better term if they switched to private US natural gas, without even once considering that PetroCaribe was supplying fuel at more-than-favourable terms no American company will agree to.

CARICOM Heads promised to respond later, but within months Biden and Obama were no longer at the White House.
Guyana, Venezuela and Suriname belonging to the gushing Guiana Shield, Washington will also want to ensure no neighbourly bilateral, trilateral, multinational or multilateral deals are arrived at that would threaten US economic interests — meaning the interests of US companies in their oil sectors or within the Shield.

The upcoming energy conference may not address this sensitive question as its objective is not to spark or flare-up problematic issues only the political directorates can solve, but amicably resolving the Georgetown-Caracas disagreement over Essequibo is important to discussions on the future between two oil-rich but still-poor neighbours that can change how the oil world turns, if they swallow hard, stop the spat — and start dancing.

Indeed, constantly working on ending the verbal bashings by neighbours across fences is as important as doing what needs to be done right now to protect the mainland and Essequibo islands from unpredictable but sure oil spills when they do happen – as they will.

But overall, the Energy Conference topics will ensure it will be another important step in the giant leaps forward being made in Guyana these days, thanks to earliest earnings from New Gold and Big Oil, which the Government of Guyana will be expected to work on improving as time goes by – and long before the goldmines die and oilfields dry.

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