Become “oil smart” urges US Ambassador

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Perry Holloway, US Ambassador to Guyana

US Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway, is calling on all Guyanese to become oil smart. The Ambassador’s call came just days before yet another discovery was announced by US super-major, ExxonMobil, off the Guyana coast. “This is a tremendously, large undertaking and my own impression is that the vast majority of people in Guyana have no idea how vast or how big or complicated this is. Don’t get me wrong; Guyanese are smart, but there has been no experience with oil. This is not gold so it is going to take some time,” he told OilNOW during an interview on Friday.

He said it is the people that need to hold the Government accountable so as to ensure that the administration does what is right, and in their best interest.

The Ambassador said persons must also recognize that the time that Guyana has to develop the Oil and Gas Industry is limited, unlike Trinidad, which had about 100 years to develop theirs.

Nevertheless, he noted that a lot has been done so far in preparation for the country’s first oil in 2020. “I think the Government, with the limited resources it started with; they are doing most of the right things. They are trying to do the right things I think time remains to see if they will actually get it all right but it’s too early to tell, but there have been a lot of regulations/legislation being worked on. The Private Sector is doing their part and you have GOGA (Guyana Oil and Gas Association). I know the Private Sector has an oil and gas component now.”

While local content is cheaper, resulting in the cost of production being lower, the Ambassador said it is important to understand the realities and sometimes challenges in building a successful oil and gas industry in a country, like Guyana.

“You haven’t had an oil industry so no one would expect you to have underground aluminum welders and have specialized pumps that cost a million dollars each to go on an oil rig. That is just not something you needed so I do think ExxonMobil is doing their best to try to cultivate local content,” he pointed out.

Further, he commended ExxonMobil for taking the initiative to establish the Centre for Local Business Development.

“The Centre for Local Business Development is being financed initially by ExxonMobil and in a year or two it is supposed to be self-sufficient. All of the experts and companies that are working within that organization are all Guyanese companies and the goal is not to train individuals but is to train companies and how you adhere to international standards so that is a great, big first step,” the Ambassador added.

ExxonMobil opened the centre in Georgetown, Guyana on July 13.