“Don’t spend money you don’t have’ warns oil expert

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Guyana, now poised to be the biggest per capita oil producer in the world in coming years, has a unique opportunity having now entered the oil and gas industry, to learn from the multitude of mistakes made by other countries in managing oil revenue.

“And the good news is, there are plenty of examples of mistakes around, that Guyana is going to benefit from. We have a lot of mistakes that were made by other countries; hopefully Guyana will miss it. Most importantly, don’t spend the money you don’t have,” urged Robert McNally, Energy Market expert and President of the Rapidan Energy Group.

McNally has been on a visit to Guyana facilitated by the Centre for Local Business Development, (CLBD) as part of its “Join the Conversation Speaker Series” which will see international energy experts and policy makers providing their perspectives and advice on the global oil and gas industry.

“I have been in the oil markets in policy for 29 years and it’s rare to go to a brand-new oil producer that’s about to become a major oil producer, one of the biggest per-capita oil producers in the world, if not the biggest,” the former White House Special Assistant to President George W. Bush told reporters at a media briefing on Thursday.

Building the country’s infrastructure and human resources should be prioritized, he noted. In building the human capacity and education, he advised that persons be trained to understand the impact of the global oil market on Guyana so that they can aid in decision-making.

“You know, there was a major attack on the Saudi facility in September called Abqaiq. Nobody knows about it, nobody cares. That could have been a successful attack and had there been a lot of damage, oil revenues could have doubled for the state of Guyana. If OPEC doesn’t have a successful meeting in March, the price of oil could collapse, revenues to Guyana could have [collapsed],” he pointed out.

Under these unpredictable global conditions, McNally said Guyana can be suddenly exposed. “It means that as you build this education, human capability…you have to have people who can understand what’s going on, advise your leaders, advise your businesses,” he pointed out.

McNally, author of ‘Crude Volatility – the History and Future of Boom-Bust Oil Prices’ said the revenue Guyana receives from development of its multi-billion barrel oil resources offshore will be ultimately determined by price stability in the oil market and for this, the country must prepare.





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