Local content expert to work with Guyanese private sector

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Guyana's natural resources minister, Raphael Trotman speaking with officials and participants at an oil and gas event in Georgetown

Business operators in Guyana eager to get involved in the country’s emerging oil and gas sector will soon benefit from the input of a local content specialist.

OilNOW understands the Guyana government is hiring the expert based on the completion of a gap analysis that was done by UK-based firm, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Private sector sources confirmed to OilNOW on Monday that they are familiar with the plan to have the expert work with the business community.

ExxonMobil will begin oil production in mid-2020 at its Liza-1 project located in an area known as the Stabroek block, 120 miles off the Guyana coast. Phase 1 of the project will target an estimated 800 million to 1.4 billion barrels of light crude. Oil production operations are expected to give rise to business opportunities, particularly in the supply chain, where there will be continuous need for material, maintenance and a range of services.

Guyana’s natural resources minister had indicated that a gap analysis would be carried out to determine what skills and expertise are available locally to meet the needs of the operators and contractors working offshore. The gap analysis report is guiding interventions that would be necessary to ensure businesses are able to effectively provide the required services.

Some Guyanese businesses have been expressing concern about benefiting from these opportunities since the oil and gas industry is new to the country and businesses are not adequately trained and equipped in this field.

Some businesses have adopted a proactive approach and have begun to take steps to train employees and streamline their services. Others have gone a step further, already entering partnerships with international firms that have been contracted by ExxonMobil and its partners.

Both the Guyana government and ExxonMobil have been looking at ways to address the use of local content. The natural resources ministry has developed a draft local content framework which is currently being reviewed by the private sector.  The draft document seeks to address the suite of opportunities that may arise and the approaches to be taken in selecting and developing opportunities related to enhancing the capabilities of Guyanese nationals and businesses.

For its part, ExxonMobil will be launching a business development center in July paving the way for Guyanese entrepreneurs to enhance their capacity and become more competitive in the industry. Exxon has enlisted the services of DAI, a company that specializes in local content and socio-economic development globally, to spearhead this initiative.