Head of Guyana’s Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe says every effort will be made to streamline operations in the country’s emerging oil and gas sector.
He was speaking at a welcome reception at the residence of the Canadian High Commissioner in Guyana on Monday evening for a fifty-member contingent from the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador who are in Guyana participating in an oil and gas trade mission.
Dr. Bynoe explained that, “This streamlining focuses on five broad principles: efficiency, transparency, predictability, balance and evidence based support. From the premise of efficiency, the Department continues to seek avenues to increase the value proposition, emerging from Guyana’s oil and gas sector. It is within this context that it sees the potential of this mission to Guyana as being timely.”
Joint ventures, he believes, can be an important catalyst for major business developments within the context of the oil and gas sector. He underscored, “It is through joint ventures that Guyanese businesses may be afforded the opportunity to exploit mid and downstream opportunities, while simultaneously raising their standards and increasing their competitiveness.”
Speaking on the issue of transparency, he said it is the duty of the department to create a conducive environment that will allow for the fostering of efficient and effective management of the oil and gas sector.
He explained, “This is being pursued by the department and its sister agencies through the crafting or revision and piloting of the requisite act, policies and legislation in areas of the petroleum commission bill, local content bill and the Sovereign Wealth Fund bill, to name but a few.”
To this end, he also reemphasized the important role that partnerships play, such as the one formed with Newfoundland and Labrador, as important elements in building a sustainable, transparent and accountable oil and gas sector.
Meanwhile, Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, in also welcoming the renewed partnership, noted that, “I am pleased that both jurisdictions are exploring such a partnership.”
While reiterating that Guyana is new to the sector, he said the situation highlights that more needs to be done to prepare Guyanese for the opportunities ahead.
He explained that, “More and more Guyanese need to learn very quickly and learn very well so that we can fill that void with a more broad-based pool of knowledge and in this regard I think we can learn a lot from those who have experience what we are about to experience, both at the Government level and private sector level.”
Minister of Natural Resources from Newfoundland and Labrador, Siobhan Coady, in her address to the gathering, said, “Newfoundland and Labrador has been blessed as you have been blessed in Guyana with oil and gas and I say blessed because it has helped transformed our economy and increase opportunities for our people.”
This is Newfoundland and Labrador’s 28th year of oil and gas production. The Minister said, “We have produced over 1.7 billion barrels of oil and we know through seismic work and independent verification that there are some 50 billion barrels of prospective oil and gas offshore.”
This, she believes, is important to note as it illustrates the potential prospects of an oil producing nation.
Speaking specifically on the Canadian Trade Mission, she said this is significant as it increases the overall understanding of the sector.
Coady added that, “We have had the opportunity to learn from other oil and gas companies and having that information exchange could help emerging oil and gas countries like Guyana in the development and continued innovations, which can really help to transform the economy and give hope and opportunity to Guyanese people.”