Following the first ever commercial oil discovery in Guyana in May 2015, ExxonMobil and its co-venture partners HESS and CNOOC announced the commencement of oil production from the Liza Phase 1 development in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana on December 20, 2019.
In a comment to OilNOW, President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Nicholas Deygoo-Boyer called the start of oil production a significant milestone for the country of just over 750,000 people.
“It is widely expected that first oil will be a catalyst for the kind of development we have been longing for as Guyanese, the kind of development that brings a more educated healthier population, with a Government that is more efficient and accountable,” said Deygoo-Boyer.
He said that it is important for there to be open and frank discussions around the government’s plans for the oil and gas sector and said the commencement of oil production is nothing more than the end of the beginning of the process and that the real challenge is the management of the sector.
“Of course, first oil is just the end of the beginning, which started with the 1999 Agreement and the first Liza find. Now that we are producing, we need to have open and frank discussions about the regulatory environment needed to manage this sector so that we are truly able to harness the returns from the sector,” he stated.
The GCCI President said the next important steps include operationalisation of the Natural Resources Fund, creation of an independent, politically insulated Petroleum Commission to manage the sector as well as implementation of a Local Content Policy.
The Government of Guyana has faced criticism for the pace at which it is putting in place the fiscal, legislative and regulatory framework needed to prudently manage the oil and gas sector but it has maintained that significant strides have been made in the four and a half years from discovery to first oil.