Transformation to oil producer in less than 5 yrs “unprecedented in the world” – Canadian High Commissioner

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Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Pierre Giroux

The challenges facing Guyana as it prepares for oil production in 2020 will be bigger, since the country’s rapid move to first oil gives it less than 5 years from the initial discovery, to fully prepare.

Outgoing Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana Pierre Giroux says preparing for first oil in such a short time is unprecedented in the world. “The transformation from a non-producer to producer country in the span of less than five years is unprecedented in the world. I think this is probably one country in which the preparatory phase will be the shortest,” he said.

As such, the High Commissioner acknowledged that the challenge the South American country faces in preparing for first oil will be bigger than countries which took longer periods of time to move into production phase.

“From that technical perspective, of course you are not yet where you should be, because you have to go double fast, compared to other countries,” he said, in response to a question from OilNOW on his assessment of Guyana’s state of preparedness.

“The effort is being done, but one has to remember that this is a sovereign country. We are here as partners, we are not here as overseers. It is a political decision that Guyanese have to do in their democratic processes to determine their pace of transformation and what they want to do,” Mr. Giroux added.

Canada, the High Commissioner said, remains committed to playing a critical role in partnering with Guyana to share knowledge, skills and advice on the country’s emerging oil and gas industry.

The Government of Guyana has come in for criticism in recent months about its handling of preparations for oil production. Some sections of society and the business community believe that not enough information is being made public about measures being taken and the framework which is being developed for the new oil and gas sector. But speaking at a recent event in Guyana’s capital, Georgetown, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, said in his view Guyana is right on target. “In a continuum of where things ought to be, we believe that we are right on target for where we ought to be here in July of 2017, and headed towards production by mid-2020,” he said.

ExxonMobil along with its joint venture partners, Hess and Nexen are in the process of developing the prolific Liza field 120 miles off the Guyana coast, in preparation for oil production in 2020.