Guyana’s Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, told Members of Parliament on Tuesday that the Department of Energy (DE) remains operational and is actively involved in the ongoing negotiations with ExxonMobil for the Payara development; its 3rd proposed project offshore.
He reminded that as part of the Government’s plan to run the petroleum sector in a non-partisan manner, the Ministry of Natural Resources has undergone institutional changes whereby the Department of Energy is now under that Ministry.
“As of today, no one from the Department of Energy has been dismissed or sent home and the team is actively involved in the Payara negotiations with Exxon, GGMC and EPA,” he said. “It is our intention that the Department of Energy and Petroleum Department at GGMC will be subsumed into the Petroleum Commission.”
This, he said, is to ensure that there will be less political interference and the sector can be managed “without politicians.”
He further added, “The Department of Energy previously functioned in a policy direction…technical and operational capacity and basically operated without much guidance….Under the PPP/C Administration the Department of Energy will be converted into a professional, technical unit to manage this sector.”
The DE fell under the oversight of the Ministry of the Presidency during the previous administration.