The Guyana Government has announced plans for the imminent establishment of a Local Content Compliance Unit to validate information submitted by oil companies operating in its offshore basin.
The disclosure was made on Wednesday, August 29, by Director of Guyana’s Department of Energy (DoE), Dr Mark Bynoe. He was at the time delivering the keynote address to newly enrolled students at the University of Guyana’s (UG) School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation’s (SEBI)—Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences’ (FEES), Orientation Ceremony 2019 which was held at the University’s Turkeyen Campus.
Dr Bynoe—a former FEES Director—during an interaction with students related that “you would hear often people talking about local content and asking us to validate; how do you know if Exxon(Mobil), saying that they have employed 1,357 people who are of Guyanese origin, were actually employed.”
As such, he revealed; “we are setting up a Local Content Compliance Unit which will help us to be able to validate and to determine if the information that we are getting from the operators is authentic.”
The revelation comes on the heels of the recently released third draft of the proposed Local Content Policy, which—among other things—stipulates that operators provide yearly Local Content Plans. This would include “recent performance and current market information, including from Primary Contractors, describing estimated levels and activities and programs for the utilisation of local content for the upcoming year.”
The Policy also includes provisions for “operators to account for delivery of their yearly Local Content Plans through, at a minimum, half-year and end-year Local Content Reports.”
Additionally, the draft Local Content policy outlines the expectation that operators and industry players would collaborate with the Government to review the Local Content Plans and Reports, to explore “what is working in delivering local content and what can be improved, when to make appropriate adjustments to a Plan or to government policy or initiatives, and to identify new areas of local content opportunity.”
Since 2015, ExxonMobil Guyana and its major contractors have expended more than $29 billion Guyana dollars on the procurement of goods and services ranging from foodstuff to engineering. The company said its expenditure on local content in Guyana has been doubling over the years, with more than $10 billion Guyana dollars already spent for the first half of 2019.