Head of Guyana’s Department of Energy (DoE) Dr Mark Bynoe says his agency will continue to carry out its mandate in preparing the country for first oil in 2020 despite last week’s passage of a No-Confidence motion in the country’s Parliament which toppled the government, triggering early national and regional elections.
Dr Bynoe was asked by OilNOW about the potential impact of early elections on preparation for first oil given that the Government will have to resign and call fresh elections within 90 days, potentially putting the brakes on planned spending in a host of areas geared towards developing and boosting institutions for the emerging petroleum sector.
“The Department will continue to discharge its responsibilities as mandated,” Dr Bynoe said when asked what may become of the policy and legislative initiatives in the pipeline such as the Natural Resources Fund, Petroleum Commission Bill, Local Content policy, oil spill contingency plan, among others. The current administration created the DoE several months ago and it has taken over the responsibilities for petroleum from the Ministry of Natural Resources.
When asked what steps the Department of Energy will take in order to ensure that disruptions to its functions and mandate are minimized, Dr Bynoe said, “The Department of Energy is staffed by a cadre of professionals who will continue to execute their duties in a manner consistent with their remit and that of the Department.”
He said too that the Department has been engaging with operators and stakeholders throughout its establishment and will continue to do so.
The DoE has been playing an integral role in overseeing the work related to the establishment of key legislation and policy initiatives as well as the review of key documents related to oil and gas exploration and development.
The Department is currently in the process of having a review of the Field Development Plans for Liza Phase 2 completed, approval of which would see ExxonMobil Guyana sanctioning the project. The country’s Environmental Protection Agency has already approved the Environmental Impact Assessment report for Liza Phase 2.