ExxonMobil, Hess and CNOOC Limited, co-venturers in offshore oil development in the Stabroek Block, on Tuesday announced the formation of the Greater Guyana Initiative, a 10-year commitment of more than GY$20 billion (US$100 million) to significantly expand capacity building efforts and promote sustainable economic development in Guyana.
The Greater Guyana Initiative’s capacity development efforts will include programmes designed in consultation with Guyana’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training, the Centre for Local Business Development and University of Guyana. The initiative will also focus on supporting regional initiatives and capacity development of diverse sectors including health and agriculture.
“Our long-term commitment will support initiatives to further build human capacity, advance education, improve health care and promote sustained economic diversification,” said Alistair Routledge, President ExxonMobil Guyana. “This work will boost our shared capacity development efforts in Guyana, preparing Guyanese to capitalize on new and expanded economic opportunities.”
The Greater Guyana Initiative’s multi-faceted approach will grow the Guyanese workforce, increase competitiveness of local businesses across sectors, and build upon the foundation for a thriving business environment and sustained economic growth. To meet the goals of the initiative, national and local leaders, community members and the private sector will be engaged to bolster the effectiveness of programmes and ensure alignment with Guyana’s development priorities as they evolve over the coming years.
“We are committed to supporting the long-term sustainable growth and prosperity of Guyana that is shared across the whole of society,” said Tim Chisholm, vice president – Guyana & Suriname for Hess Corporation. “Guyana’s future has never looked brighter, and we believe that the Greater Guyana Initiative will play an important role in making that promise a reality.”
“The launching of the Greater Guyana Initiative marks a milestone in delivering benefits from the hydrocarbon / offshore economy directly to the Guyanese people,” said Xia Qinglong, executive vice president of CNOOC Limited and chairman of CNOOC International. “Through this collaborative, sustainable and mutually-reinforcing initiative, communities across Guyana would actualize tangible benefits.”
The Greater Guyana Initiative will expand the current support for the Centre for Local Business Development by ExxonMobil, Hess and CNOOC Limited and facilitate its transition into a long-term center of excellence for broader industry. More than 2,400 Guyanese companies are registered with the centre, which was established by the co-venturers in 2017 with the mission of supporting local businesses to become globally competitive. The Greater Guyana Initiative will also seek opportunities to expand existing support and advance higher education programmes at the University of Guyana.
“We’re advancing our partnership with ExxonMobil, Hess and CNOOC Limited through the Greater Guyana Initiative,” said Clinton Williams, chairman of Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council. “Our year-long collaboration and planning ensures a comprehensive programme of targeted education for youth in the areas of mechanical, electrical and welding as well as tailored training for instructors that is suited for the long-term development needs of Guyana.”
The Stabroek Block co-venturers will evaluate and select capacity building projects to be included in the initiative. They will consult with local and national stakeholders and utilize third-party experts, including non-governmental organizations, to implement initiatives.
Current development activities include three offshore projects – Liza Phase 1 and 2 and Payara. Liza Phase 1 has been producing oil for just over a year. Liza Phase 2 and Payara are on track to begin production of oil by 2022 and 2024, respectively. As the projects proceed, investment in the Guyanese economy continues to increase. The number of Guyanese nationals supporting project activities doubled in 2020 to more than 2,100 and over GY$67 billion was spent with more than 700 local suppliers.
ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is operator of the offshore Stabroek Block with a 45 percent interest. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30 percent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds 25 percent interest.