New oil producer Guyana will see the highest level of exploration activities unfolding over the next ten years, which, according to one official with years of experience in the industry, presents the best window of opportunity for the people of the South American country to ‘get a foothold’ in the industry.
“Guyana has at least 10 years of exploration ahead of it, in terms of continuous exploration drilling,” said former Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Energy, Kevin Ramnarine on a recent panel discussion. “You still have a lot more acreage to explore and there are blocks which haven’t even been explored. You’re now exploring the Kaieteur and the Canje Block.”
According to Ramnarine, who now sits on Guyana’s Local Content Panel, the 2020’s will be a period of ‘incredible growth’ in the Guyanese economy. “And then, after that, the industry should begin to mature in Guyana in the 2030’s and you may go into what they call the operations and maintenance phase and so on, but you should meet your peak oil production by the end of this decade.”
Rystad Energy has projected that peak oil production in Guyana could come around the mid-2030s when output will hit a record 1.4 million barrels per day.
Ramnarine said the window of opportunity will fundamentally change Guyana in the coming years. “So, the opportunities for Guyanese to get a foothold in this sector is really in the next 10 years, and more so in the next five years, so to use the metaphor; ‘the iron is hot’ at this point in time.”
He posited that there will be exploration activities for decades to come, but exploration will be “really steep” in the next decade. This, he noted, is where the opportunities are for Guyanese.
“The oil industry in Guyana will lead to a demand for hotel rooms, so you will have more hotels being built and that is going to be measured by the statisticians under services, but it is really related to the oil industry,” he added.
Ramnarine reminded that in the oil and gas industry, there’s a spectrum of activities that starts off with exploration and ends with abandonment; and the exploration to abandonment cycle can be 50 years for an oilfield.
“So, within that, Guyanese entrepreneurs have already been participating in the shorebase activity that we see. Another opportunity is fabrication and fabrication is something that can be done pretty quickly in Guyana,” he said. “It will require a degree of training of the existing welders in Guyana to industrial level welding but that ramp up in skills shouldn’t take that long.”
Just two weeks ago, SBM Offshore, the company that was contracted to construct, operate and maintain the Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessels for ExxonMobil’s operations in Guyana, said that their ongoing Prosperity FPSO project–which will be utilised for the Payara field–will utilise Guyanese labour for a part of the fabrication process.
OilNOW has reported that the company said it expects the award of contracts to Guyanese companies for work such as the fabrication and coating of a portion of the light structural steel for the FPSO in Guyana, which would be a first for SBM Offshore in-country.