Guyana lagging in institutional capacity

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Anthony Paul, Principal Consultant, Energy and Strategy, Association of Caribbean Energy Specialist Ltd

Speaking with OilNOW, Anthony Paul, Principal Consultant, Energy and Strategy, Association of Caribbean Energy Specialist Ltd cited a Rapid Analysis that was commissioned by UNDP in 2015 to determine the readiness of Guyana for oil production.

The results of the analysis revealed several gaps in the country’s preparedness at that time, particularly its institutional capacity.

Mr. Paul noted that while institutional capacity has not improved significantly, there have been steps in the right direction. The Petroleum Bill was recently sent to a Select Committee in Guyana’s Parliament and the Deputy Director and other personnel for the Petroleum Department have been identified.

There are also plans underway for the creation of a Sovereign Wealth Fund, however, details on the establishment of the this are still unclear.

Mr. Paul says his work is focused on assisting oil producing countries to identify and retain value and in the next phase of his engagement in Guyana he would be working with the private sector to improve its readiness for the oil and gas sector. He will be helping them to identify the opportunities of the industry and improving their capacity to take advantage of the opportunities.

He noted that banking institutions are generally risk-averse and especially in the case of a new oil producing country, the institutions will need to be reoriented to accepting other forms of non-physical collateral for financing arrangements.

The draft Local Content Policy prepared by the Ministry of Natural Resources was reviewed by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry and several recommendations made.