On Wednesday, US-based oil services company Halliburton, in collaboration with the University of Guyana, hosted day two of a three-day introduction to oil and gas for children. The program, entitled, The Science of Energy: A Children’s Workshop, was held on the university’s Turkeyen Campus.
Speaking to the young audience, Pro-Chancellor of the University of Guyana Major General (ret’d) Joseph Singh recognized the significance of the program and expressed hopes for its growth.
“Thank you to the parents who allowed you to come here this afternoon; who saw the wisdom in making use of this opportunity and I hope that between the University of Guyana, other institutions, Halliburton, and other oil sector investors; they would see the merit having this type of program introduced in the schools, more so with videos and things to capture the imagination…” Singh said.
For Halliburton, which is currently celebrating its 100th year in operation, Guyana is a relatively new zone, nevertheless, Country Manager for Halliburton Landmark Caribbean and CA, Fabiola Martinez explains that the company intends to be a partner in development for years to come.
“We know, that in Guyana, [the oil industry] is just starting right now. You’re starting a very important phase of the economy, in terms of oil and gas. So, for us, it is a commitment that we have with Guyana, with the community to increase awareness of the oil and gas industry and what would be the potential,” said Martinez.
With such a long relationship planned, it only makes sense to begin developing the next generation of Guyanese oil industry professions now. With this in mind, Celia Garcia-James, the facilitator of the program and a Technical Consultant with Halliburton hopes that the workshop will ignite a spark in the minds of the children, just as someone did for her as a child growing up in an oil-rich region of Venezuela.
“Something similar to this was done in my school. That gave me the idea to ask more questions about science. I was encouraged to ask questions about all the pumping jacks and the pipelines I saw around me and where the oil comes from and how can I get involved in that. So, it’s the same impact I think we will have on the kids, so they may ask more questions, be inquisitive, and perhaps end up working in the oil and gas industry.” Garcia-James said.
Garcia-James, a Petroleum Engineer for over 20 years, also advised young persons that now is the time to enter the industry, as there is a wealth of information on the subject that had not existed previously.
To further contextualize the industry in a way a child can understand, Garcia-James’s 9-year-old son Sebastian shared to the children and parents in attendance, his experience growing up close to an oil and gas field in Trinidad. He capped off his presentation with a word of encouragement for the young participants.
“Take advantage of the opportunities that will come to you… be prepared, honoring your God, respecting your parents and teachers, helping one another as fellow citizens and studying hard to build your community, the future of Guyana is in your hands,” said Sebastian.
The workshop taught participants what is oil and gas, how is it formed, and how companies drill for oil. Participants also experienced several interactive demonstrations that illustrated some of the operations within the petroleum industry. The first session, on Tuesday, was held on UG’s Tain Campus and on Thursday the same workshop was held in Linden.