Guyana has been blessed with enormous oil and gas resources. The revenues from this remarkably lucrative sector can transform the country and enable its citizens to reach higher standards of living. These revenues can also buttress the diversification of the economy by supporting non-oil sectors and the advancement of Guyana.
It is for these reasons, among others, that Guyana must pursue the development of its oil and gas resources, says Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, as he denounced the anti-fossil fuel lobby that is targeting Guyana.
“The world needs oil and gas now, that is why oil is $120 per barrel. There is a scarcity of good oil and, therefore, they would reap all of the windfalls – the rich countries of the world… Every day, the greenhouse gasses that get churned out of the developed world, it is maybe tens of thousands of times more than our total greenhouse gas in Guyana. But they pick on Guyana because it is a small country.”
“I see some celebrities who live in their countries that are expanding oil and gas production. Now, they want to stop us here in Guyana and they do not even have a voice to stop it in their own countries. In fact, they are expanding. I believe that many of them, wittingly or unwittingly, they work for the lobby in these countries. Don’t waste your time on these people. They would have us suffer forever,” the Vice President related in a scathing rebuke of the anti-fossil fuel lobby.
Dr. Jagdeo spoke in great detail about the potential earnings from the petroleum developments that have been given the government’s blessings – namely Liza One and Two, Payara and Yellowtail.
“With US$50 per barrel, our share will be worth maybe US$2B per year and if it is about US$100 per barrel, the government’s share will be about US$4B per annum. That is more than twice the size of our current national debt. With just one year’s revenue, we can take half of that and pay off all of the country’s debt,” the VP expressed.
Further, he highlighted how the oil and gas sector can contribute to the rest of Guyana’s economy, and went on to list transformational ventures like the Gas-to-Energy project. This project, the VP reminded, will generate cheaper energy which will have a major impact on traditional and newer industries, as well as consumers.
“The gas that will come in that will allow us the ability to produce the liquids to reduce the cost of living through the cooking gas,” Dr. Jagdeo stated. “Business through the other linkages in the economy like the Local Content Law that will generate employment – maybe 5,000 people directly employed and a lot of business for locals, and that has an impact on the economy.”
He also said the oil sector’s growth will allow for many sectors across the country to be derisked, setting the stage for Guyanese to capitalise on increasing demand for services.