22 C
Georgetown
Friday, March 5, 2021

Guyana at cross-roads with big opportunity for security, stability – ASP

Must Read

Exxon targeting new Guyana exploration well this month as search for more crude ramps up

Exploration and appraisal drilling offshore Guyana are moving forward on schedule with a new well expected to be spudded...

Bulletwood delivers ‘non-commercial’ find but in quality reservoirs

The drill campaign at the Bulletwood-1 prospect on the ExxonMobil-operated Canje Block has concluded and according to preliminary results,...

Exxon planning to submit plan for 4th major development at Stabroek Block by year-end

U.S Oil major ExxonMobil, operator at the 6.6 million acres Stabroek Block in Guyana, is planning to submit a...
OilNOW
OilNow is an online-based Information and Resource Centre which serves to complement the work of all stakeholders in the oil and gas sector in Guyana.

In less that 24 months Guyana, located on the northern shoulder of South America, will begin producing oil from its vast offshore reserves discovered by US oil major ExxonMobil. The opportunity that oil wealth presents is clear, says the American Security Project (ASP), but warned that known pitfalls associated with this windfall must be avoided at all cost.

“More money will flow into Guyana, both to government coffers in the form of royalties, profit sharing, and lease payments; and to the broader economy, as workers are hired and local contracts are signed,” ASP stated in a recently released report.

“The economic boom, if directed properly, could provide the basis for dealing with longstanding security problems,” the organization said at a presentation in Washington, DC on October 18.

However, throwing money on top of intractable social problems without reform could end up only making them worse, ASP warned. “A growing body of evidence shows that unexpected increases in resource wealth given to countries with weak and unstable political institutions can only make the problems worse and more intractable. It can add a layer of government instability and economic challenges to already existing internal threats.”

For that reason, policymakers, ASP pointed out, should acknowledge that money could solve some problems, while reform and foresight must be used to prevent others.

“Some of the security challenges that Guyana faces can be lessened with more money. For instance, Guyana is a common transit country for cocaine headed from Columbia and Venezuela to the United States, Canada, and Europe. In the last decade, under pressure from the U.S. to combat drug smuggling, the government passed legislation to address money laundering, terrorist financing, and extradition,” ASP stated.

A new Special Organized Crime Unit has also been established and authorities in Guyana has launched an updated Drug Strategy Plan. Each of these actions provided important legal and institutional ability to fight drug trafficking and organized crime, but the country has lacked the means to fund and support the efforts. Guyana’s large coastline, long navigable rivers, and sparsely inhabited jungles provide easy cover for illicit smuggling. “Increasing funding and manpower in their Coast Guard, customs enforcement agency, and police will allow the country to more effectively manage its borders and understand how and where illicit goods transit to larger markets,” the organization said.

Guyana is a member of the U.S.-led Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, in which the U.S. collaborates with Caribbean countries to build the capacity to address transnational threats. Such collaboration allows intelligence sharing so that host countries can monitor and track illicit goods. With greater resources dedicated to law enforcement, the government of Guyana can more effectively act on American intelligence.

However, ASP pointed out that some problems are not solved with money. While finding a resource like oil should be a blessing to a country, as ASP has argued in previous papers, a resource boom does not always benefit the country that receives the windfall. “Too many times, countries experience a “Resource Curse” where the full value of natural resources are lost, and the population is left worse off,” it reminded.

Guyana, ASP said, must do all in its power to avoid this pitfall if the nation of around 750,000 people is truly to benefit from the coming oil production windfall.

President Granger approves Eco Atlantic’s transfer of 25% interest in Orinduik Block to Total Petroleum

Latest News

Bulletwood delivers ‘non-commercial’ find but in quality reservoirs

The drill campaign at the Bulletwood-1 prospect on the ExxonMobil-operated Canje Block has concluded and according to preliminary results,...

Exxon planning to submit plan for 4th major development at Stabroek Block by year-end

U.S Oil major ExxonMobil, operator at the 6.6 million acres Stabroek Block in Guyana, is planning to submit a development plan to authorities in...

First 6 FPSOs can develop up to half of all oil found so far at Stabroek Block – ExxonMobil

Around 50 percent of the 9 billion barrels of oil equivalent discovered so far at the prolific Stabroek Block offshore Guyana can be developed...

Another local company fabricating fixtures for massive incoming oil production vessel

Guyana Oil and Gas Support Services Inc. (GOGSSI) is the second local company to be recognized in as many days for providing fabrication services...

Guyana condemns incursion of Venezuelan fighter jets at Eteringbang

Guyana's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday issued a statement condemning the incursion of Venezuelan fighter jets into Guyana's airspace on March 2, 2021. Below...

More Articles Like This