23 customs petroleum officers complete offshore safety, emergency response training

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Twenty-three officers within the Customs Petroleum Unit (CPU) of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) have successfully completed a Tropical Helicopter Underwater Egress Training (THUET) course to develop knowledge and operating procedures in offshore safety and emergency response.

The training session was conducted at HHSL Safety Systems Limited in Trinidad and Tobago. GRA said this training is mandatory for the officers who perform Customs controls and other monitoring functions onboard oil exploration vessels.

GRA said the first batch comprised of seven officers, including Mr. Lancelot Wills, Deputy-Commissioner of CPU, benefitted from the training in January of this year. In July, a second batch comprising of 15 participated in this training.

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Training at the facility encompassed emergency techniques such as donning an aviation life jacket, preparing for a helicopter ditching on water, evacuation through a nominated exit to an aviation life raft, or escaping through a window opening from a partially or fully submerged helicopter. It should be noted that the THUET is one of several escape simulation techniques for CPU and other officers who board any floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

GRA was keen to note that Guyana is building capacity for training on local shores, with the imminent establishment of the country’s first oil and gas training centre by private developers. The facility, which is under construction at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara, will reduce the need for locals to travel overseas for accreditation in Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET) with Compressed Air Emergency Breathing System (CA-EBS). Demand for these skills will increase as exploration intensifies and more vessels are established offshore.

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GRA reminded that the CPU was established with the mandate to monitor and verify activities in the oil and gas sector for taxation purposes based on the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act and in keeping with the Production Sharing Agreement between the Guyana Government, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd, CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Ltd and HESS Guyana Exploration Ltd.

Thus far, the CPU and Petroleum Revenue Department (PRD), have benefited from capacity building in the areas such as crude lifting and measurement, and oil and gas risk management.

GRA said support in these endeavours has come through partnership with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Technical Assistance (OTA).

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