Guyanese firm, Ground Structures Engineering Consultants Inc. and Dutch company, Fugro, are forging ahead with a new partnership in the South American country’s emerging oil and gas sector. Already, several Guyanese are receiving specialized training in sea survival and offshore geotechnical investigation, and this transfer of knowledge and skills is expected to increase.
OilNOW sat down with Managing Director of Ground Structures Engineering, Charles Ceres, and Fugro’s Business Development Manager, Brian Hottman, this week at the Guyana Marriott Hotel for an update on the new partnership between the companies.
The two individuals were recently introduced in Guyana, and following discussions, decided that there was scope for a joint venture.
Ground Structures is an engineering consultancy firm specializing in geotechnical, environmental and mining engineering, engineering geology, groundwater hydrology, and related disciplines. Fugro is a leading independent provider of geo-intelligence and asset integrity solutions for large constructions, infrastructure, and natural resources.
Mr. Hottman said while his company has had business arrangements with Guyanese firms in the past, the collaboration with Ground Structures is on a much larger scale. “We’ve had arrangements before. We’ve had contracts with local food suppliers, agents…but nothing on the scale of doing the technical training we are doing with Ground Structures.”
Ground Structures expects the training to not only benefit those directly receiving it, but the entire staff complement of the company. “We’ve had 6 persons who are certified for sea survival, we’ve sent 5 people to Houston to be trained to work on the offshore geotechnical investigation and the expectation is that all the members of our staff would benefit,” Mr. Ceres stated.
In addition to what is taking place on the vessel, there are samples which will be processed at Ground Structure’s on-shore lab in Guyana, exposing more of its staff to the knowledge required in this nature of business.
“The samples are tested in accordance with contemporary geotechnical engineering methods. So, all those things my staff will be exposed to. My intent is that at the end of the day my staff would be proficient enough that they can work anywhere in the world,” Mr. Ceres indicated.
Fugro is also willing to provide training in Guyana with other groups in areas where there is a need for more knowledge and understanding of how certain aspects of the oil and gas industry work. “We are already working with the GGMC and we are working with the EPA. I think some of the things I am willing to offer to the public in Guyana is maybe doing an open forum to give a basic scenario of how offshore life in the field works, because I think a lot of people are not really up to speed on how all the different components work,” Mr. Hottman pointed out.
While a final decision is yet to be made on the shape and form Guyana’s Local Content Policy Framework will take, the partnership between Fugro and Ground Structures show that businesses can be proactive in charting a course that allows for Guyanese participation, even at the highest levels of the industry.
This bodes well for the country, as oil production is set to get underway by 2020.