Guyana was not adequately represented by gov’t at OTC – Opposition Leader

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Bharrat Jagdeo, Leader of the Opposition, speaking at a press conference in Georgetown, Guyana, on May 9, 2019.

As Guyana moves closer to producing its first barrel of oil, just months away, the country’s opposition leader is calling on the government to ramp up its preparation for production and to do more to better position Guyana on the international stage.

Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, told reporters at a press conference last week that a major blunder by the administration was its failure to have high-level government representation at the just-concluded Offshore Technology Conference (OTC 2019), which is the largest oil and gas summit in the world.

Commenting on the presence of a number of Guyanese private sector representatives at the event, Mr. Jagdeo lauded the efforts of the local businesses to better position themselves for opportunities in the country’s emerging petroleum sector.

“Many of them are looking for business and that’s great…but I noticed a huge absence of the government of Guyana,” he said, highlighting that the country’s former business minister delivered an address at a summit held in Houston at the time of OTC, “but there was no representation by a sitting minister.”

While representatives from a number of state agencies, including the Department of Energy, Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) were present at OTC and delivered remarks at a reception held on the evening of May 8, Mr. Jagdeo, also a former president of the country, said this was not adequate representation.

“So, I kept wondering what did our government say to the summit, and from all that is coming back from Texas, we said absolutely nothing. We have failed Guyana and we are failing Guyana – this government is – in ensuring the oil sector is led in a fashion to benefit Guyanese,” he stated.

GO-Invest and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) collaborated to take representatives from more than 24 companies and several state agencies to OTC, making it the largest contingent from Guyana to ever attend an international conference of this nature.

Reports indicate that feedback from visitors to the Guyana booth was positive, with a number of business representatives telling OilNOW they were able to initiate meaningful discussions with potential international partners.