New regulatory body could oversee implementation of Guyana local content policy

0
Guyana's natural resources minister, Raphael Trotman

A new regulatory body is being proposed by authorities in Guyana to oversee the implementation of a Local Content, Capacity Development and Value Addition Policy Framework.  The draft policy document, developed by the Ministry of Natural Resources, is currently under review by a number of stakeholders.

OilNOW understands that several groups representing Guyana’s private sector are currently studying the document and are expected to provide feedback on this soon.

Recognizing that tangible action would have to accompany the desire for Guyanese to benefit directly from opportunities in the emerging oil and gas sector, a number of steps have been outlined in the draft, addressing how the policy framework will be governed.

The draft policy states governance of the sector will require policies and strategies that engender and leverage partnerships between the Government of Guyana and other participants. “For assurance, this policy will be enforced through appropriate legislative mechanisms and regulated by a capable, well-resourced and accountable institution,” the document outlines.

The Regulator, it is proposed, will be overseen by a multi-stakeholder body representing those Guyanese parties involved in delivering national development and sector goals that support and/or are impacted by local capacity development and participation in the sector.

Guyana’s natural resources minister, Raphael Trotman, recently met with some of the groups representing national development in the business community. The meeting, one of several ongoing engagements with stakeholders, saw representation from groups such as the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association (GMSA) and the Guyana Oil and Gas Association (GOGA).

It is envisaged that the Regulator will report to the people of Guyana through their elected representatives in the country’s Parliament, as provided for in the Constitution of Guyana.

The Regulator will require international operators and contractors to manage their procurement through local content policies and strategies that align with the national policy. This will be applicable for every license or contract awarded by the Government of Guyana and major exploration, appraisal or development plans, programmes, projects and operations.

The Regulator will also monitor, evaluate, report, review, learn and improve by way of requiring registration and licensing of all suppliers, transparent and accessible databases of suppliers, Guyanese professionals and technicians, within Guyana and the diaspora.

The draft local content document further states that the Regulator will be tasked with certification of suppliers based on their level of competency and local content.  Work permits will also be used as a tool for capacity development, rather than barriers to entry of skilled personnel.

With the discovery of approximately 2 billion barrels of recoverable oil to date, it is felt by Guyanese that the country has been gifted with a golden opportunity to fast-track its development. The local content framework therefore plays a critical role in ensuring that Guyanese control and extract maximum value from their natural resources.

Mr. Trotman is on record as saying, “This policy…shall have as its primary aim and objective, the ensuring of the education, inclusion and advancement of as many as possible in the value chain of the oil and gas industry.”