Government must facilitate more informed views on oil – Presidential Advisor

Advisor to the President on Petroleum, Dr. Jan Mangal, speaking at a symposium in March

A number of people in Guyana are suspicious of the country’s emerging oil and gas industry and their elected representatives, says Advisor to the President on Petroleum, Dr. Jan Mangal. He believes that government must do more to facilitate information that would help to allay the concerns of Guyanese.

“People of Guyana need to trust the industry because they don’t know the industry. They are very suspicious of the industry, not only suspicious of the industry but suspicious of their representatives,” Dr. Mangal told reporters on Wednesday.

He added that, “It is all about Government facilitating more informed views in all of civil society.”

The Advisor to the President says more engagements with the public are needed which would allow them to feel involved in the process of building this new and promising industry. This, he said, is critical to building an oil and gas sector that is based on transparency and accountability.

Over the past several months a number of public lectures and discussions have been facilitated by NGOs such as the Guyana Oil and Gas Association, Moray House Trust and private sector groups. The Guyana Government through the Ministry of Natural Resources also recently embarked on countrywide discussions on a draft local content policy framework that is being developed for implementation by the end of the year. Officials have also been inviting the public to share its views on critical initiatives such as the Petroleum Commission Bill.

Nevertheless, there is a perception in the public domain that more needs to be done by way of sharing information on key matters that would help to shape the South American country’s oil and gas industry.