The inaugural Guyana International Petroleum Exhibition and Summit (GIPEX) 2018 got off to a spectacular start on Wednesday which participants say have exceeded their expectations and cemented GIPEX as the South American country’s largest petroleum summit to date.
The more than 600 delegates and 175 companies have much to expect from the activities on the agenda for the balance of the summit.
Making key presentations on the first day of the event were officials, such as Hon. Raphael G. C. Trotman, Minister of Natural Resources; Hon. Cathy Hughes, Minister of Public Telecommunications; Hon. Carl B. Greenidge, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Patricia Bacchus, Chairperson of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest); Eddie Boyer, Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) on behalf of the business community and others from the oil and gas sector.
In delivering opening remarks, Minister Trotman urged that Guyanese rise to the challenge and view the new realities of Guyana, not only as a mountainous obstacle to be overcome, but a new height to be attained. The Minister noted that citizens have high expectations from the oil and gas sector and they have taken keen interest in what has been happening in the new industry.
Giving brief remarks, Minister Greenidge said that the summit marks a major step in Guyana’s arrangements to exploit its offshore petroleum resources. He said that as the Minister with the Foreign Affairs portfolio he has great interest not only in the existence of the resource but how it is extracted. Greenidge said that with his Ministry also having responsibility for investment policy and as part of that exercise “we have a responsibility to welcome and to provide information to the companies interested in operating in Guyana.”
In his remarks, Eddie Boyer said the businesses are informing themselves about the new sector with a view to getting involved. He said the Private Sector Commission would like to see Guyana as a stable democracy with a clear framework of sector development, a strong local content policy, a well-managed sovereign wealth fund, and a transparent and accountable Petroleum Commission.
Former Premier of Alberta Province, Canada, Alison Redford was loud in commendation for the Guyana Government, its Ministry of Natural Resources and their organizing partners, for the putting together and hosting of GIPEX. Having led the Alberta Province with a century’s long tradition of oil production and still in possession of the third largest discovered crude reserve in the world, the former Alberta Premier said the event is an encouraging step and that countries like Canada had failed to do this when it discovered its petroleum basin more than a 100 years ago.
Mrs. Redford in bringing the Canadian experience to the petroleum summit reminded that since the trajectory of the industry is in effect dependent on the citizenry and civil society, it is imperative resources such as oil be developed through meaningful partnerships. She was speaking at the time on a panel focusing on effective management of Guyana’s oil and gas resources.
ExxonMobil Guyana Country Manager, Rod Henson, told OilNOW that summits such as GIPEX usually takes some time to become established and that to see such a massive turn out at the very first event exceeds his expectations.
Following the opening session, the Guyanese government officials, along with conference organisers and participants, toured the exhibition and saw displays by some of the world’s leading oil and gas and ancillary services companies.