Energy Dept urges due diligence, commitment to best practices as Guyana attains oil producer status

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Dr. Mark Bynoe, Director of Guyana’s Department of Energy.

The much-anticipated start of oil production was announced last evening in Guyana signaling the dawn of a new era for the small nation of just over 750,000 people.

In a statement following the announcement by the country’s president, David Granger, Director of the Department of Energy (DE), Dr. Mark Bynoe said first oil is a “dream realised” for the South American country.

“This historic development for the Co-operative Republic of Guyana (CRG) is a culmination of substantial investments, perseverance, dedication, ingenuity, and the establishment of the appropriate policy environment that has the capacity to propel our nation towards sustained development,” he said.

After decades of failed attempts to find oil by multiple companies both onshore and offshore, US oil major ExxonMobil in 2015 discovered the giant Liza field at the Stabroek Block where it is the operator. The record 14 discoveries made by the company since that time has seen the oil resource estimate climb to more than 6 billion barrels, with potential for more discoveries.

“Guyana’s future is bright, but we can only secure that future by strengthening legislation, conducting due diligence, emphasizing education, following a balanced development paradigm and utilising the best skills in the industry through partnerships,” Dr. Bynoe pointed out.

As the country embarks on this new journey, getting it right is the primary concern of all Guyanese who understand all too well that lack of transparency and accountability could see hopes being dashed and opportunities lost, as has happened in many resource-rich countries.

“It is also imperative that as Guyanese we begin to appreciate that the direct and indirect benefits from this sector will go far beyond anything that we have seen to date.  The Department of Energy, therefore, will continue to utilise prudence and best practices to ensure that we extract the best value for our people. This for us is a dream realised,” the DE Director said.