Guyanese companies working in the South American country’s emerging oil and gas industry face a race against time to bring themselves up to the required industry standards and the Centre for Local Business Development (CLBD) is supporting such entities through a series of training programmes and follow up coaching.
At a recent update about its activities in Guyana, CLBD Director, Patrick Henry said there are 600 companies servicing the oil and gas sector in the South American country, which is significant when one considers that it was only in 2015 that the country made its first oil discovery. He said over 70 partnerships were formed in Guyana since the Centre started tracking such information when it began operations in 2017.
Pointing out how far Guyanese companies have come since then, Henry said that in 2017 no Guyanese company was qualified to work offshore, and this was understandable because there was no oil and gas sector prior to this period. He said that in two years Guyana has reached a stage where a Guyanese company has its staff on the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel – the Liza Destiny, which is scheduled to commence oil production in the offshore Liza field in December 2019.
Natasha Gaskin-Peters, CLBD’s Deputy Director, said recognising that smart partnerships were needed given the deluge of foreign companies that wanted to establish themselves in Guyana and partner with Guyanese companies, the Centre started to engage business across all sectors. She explained that partnerships do not only entail joint ventures but could flow from arrangements such as Memorandum of Understandings and authorized dealerships. “We have been encouraging local Guyanese businesses to partake in these ventures…and really when we think about smart partnerships it is about a transfer of skills and knowledge,” she said.
The Centre, in supporting the development of Guyanese businesses, has held a number of oil and gas seminars in addition to training in safety, security and the environment as well as procurement courses for local suppliers. Further, the Centre has also offered a number of business courses including financial management, supply chain management and human resource management. CLBD will soon launch its Computer Based Training (CBT) facility and has produced an oil and gas magazine.