Guyana building regulator capacity for establishment of Petroleum Commission

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Guyana still intends to establish an independent Petroleum Commission.

Permanent Secretary at the Minister of Natural Resources, Joslyn McKenzie, said earlier this week that the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) is being primed to evolve into this role.

The Ministry, with the support of the World Bank’s Guyana Petroleum Resources Governance and Management Project, is implementing critical software installation and training for Guyana’s oil and gas sector.

Halliburton’s landmark software for drilling and geoscience disciplines has been obtained to enhance technical work of the government in relation to effectively supporting contract management activities and policy decisions.

Over the last month, the technical staffers of GGMC have been exposed to a series of training exercises on the Halliburton software. McKenzie made his comments about the Petroleum Commission as the final session began earlier this week.

Historically, the GGMC served as a regulator for mining and has played a role in the regulatory framework for petroleum exploration. The government promised to establish the Commission, during its 2020 election campaign. The idea is to have a regulator that would be independent from political manipulation.

“What we promised is to ensure that we build out the framework or the architecture to manage the oil and gas sector and this is what we’re working towards and that is why we appreciate the support from Halliburton and other companies who are partnering with us, especially with regards to capacity building,” Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat said.

For the Commission to be established, the government will have to take new legislation to Parliament for debate. The Bill would set out the framework for the Commission’s establishment. No timeline has been given.

Already, for the oil and gas sector, the government has established new legislation governing Local Content and the Natural Resource Fund. Lawmakers are also working on a modernized Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act in 2023.

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