President of Guyana David Granger has announced that the country’s Department of Energy which will fall under the auspices of the Ministry of the Presidency (MoTP) will be established by August of this year, with oil production scheduled to begin in 2020.
He provided this update to reporters on Thursday, while attending the 39th Regular Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government in Jamaica. “I am setting up a department of energy and when that is done we’ll be on sound footing,” the President stated, adding that he is “very confident that by the end of August the Guyanese people will see a Department of Energy.”
President Granger voiced his dissatisfaction with the lack of preparation for the unit in the past, saying; “I am not happy that we haven’t put in place over the last few years the administrative infrastructure that is needed, but we are rectifying that.”
In February, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman had announced the plans for the establishment of the Department, which would result in the transfer of the responsibility of petroleum from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).
The Guyanese Head of State also took the opportunity to clarify that when that Department is functional, it will be examining the advice of former Presidential Advisor on Petroleum Dr. Jan Mangal on the need for an investigation into oil blocks issued by the former administration. “As far as the words of the former Advisor are concerned, all that will be put in the mix and when the Department of Energy is established, we’ll get an authoritative statement.”
However, he added that “…an Advisor is an Advisor, an Advisor is not an Executive…the Advisor’s role is to give me advice and I make the decision,” opting to remain silent on other recommendations made by Dr. Mangal during his tenure.