President and CEO of oilfield services company TOTALTEC, Lars Mangal, says if Guyana is to truly benefit from what he calls the closing window of opportunity due to the rise of renewable energy, oil production must be ramped up to 2 million to 3 million barrels per day as quickly as possible.
Mangal was speaking during an interview with German media outlet Deutsche Welle in late February 2020.
ExxonMobil and its joint venture partners HESS and CNOOC commenced oil production almost three months ago in the South American country. The peak production capacity for the Liza Phase 1 development is 120,000 barrels per day (bpd). By 2025, production from multiple developments is expected to surpass the 750,000 bpd mark.
‘Like landing on the moon’
Speaking to the urgency with which Guyana must act, Mangal said that the global economy is transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy. “Fossil fuels are also being used less in electricity generation. The window of opportunity for Guyana is closing fast and the country must act with a true sense of urgency,” he said during the interview.
“We now have the opportunity to change this country, to drive development, to modernize the economy and to lift every Guyanese household out of poverty. Exxon is one of the most capable oil companies in the world. We have a technologically complex offshore project here in Guyana that smaller companies couldn’t handle at the pace required. Given the depth of the field (1000-3000 meters), extracting oil in Guyana is like landing on the moon,” he said. “Our goal must be to produce 2 to 3 million barrels of oil a day as quickly as possible. Otherwise, there is a danger that we cannot benefit as a society from this resource.”
Regarding criticism of the deal between the Government of Guyana and ExxonMobil, Mangal maintains that while there may be some room for improvement with the contract, it presents an opportunity for Guyana to benefit in ways never before seen.
“Of course, as with all agreements, there may be room for improvement. The question is whether we have time to do so and will it create overall value,” he said.
TOTALTEC recruits, trains and develops operational personnel for the oil and gas industry. Since opening its academy in 2018, TOTALTEC has trained 150 Guyanese in safety and basic operations for work in the South American country’s emerging oil and gas industry and the company has plans to further expand these capabilities.