US Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway, believes the country can expect “exciting times ahead”, as it moves towards becoming one of the largest oil-producing nations in the region. He was speaking at the US Embassy’s Independence Day celebrations held at the Guyana Marriot Hotel, Georgetown, on Wednesday.
Ambassador Holloway said, “This discovery of oil offshore is really a big deal and everyone needs to take it seriously and get smarter on the issue, because, while the Government is doing many of the things that need to be done, much more will need to be done. I know President David Granger is committed to getting it right, but he can’t do it himself, he needs the help of all Guyanese.”
He reminded that the confirmed oil reserves have placed Guyana among the top 25 countries in the world. “This development has placed the country ahead of countries, like the United Kingdom, Columbia and Trinidad and Tobago,” he stated.
He anticipates that, as the industry in Guyana further develops, it is likely to surpass Norway in terms of confirmed oil reserves.
The Ambassador explained that “When Guyana starts commercial oil production in early 2020, it will produce a hundred and twenty thousand barrels per day. That is more than all oil wells in Trinidad and Tobago produced in a day.”
With the prospects of oil exploration being so high in Guyana, he foresees that “Guyana’s historic problem of not having the funding to do the things that need to be done will not be an issue.”
The Ambassador also urged that Guyanese, who are the main beneficiaries of the oil and gas sector, hold their elected officials accountable to ensure the best outcomes for the country.
He said, “You need to hold elected officials accountable as well as domestic and international companies operating in one’s country. That said, you also need to analyze and make decisions based on facts and reality, not fiction and surrealism.”
Sharing his thoughts on the Production Sharing Agreement negotiated by both the Past and present Governments, Ambassador Holloway said both Governments did well, given the circumstances at the time.
He explained that “The contract first negotiated by the previous Government was the best that could be expected based on exploration results in Guyana at the time and oil markets at the time in the world. The changes made by the current Government were all to the benefit of Guyana…No one knew at that time what was going on for sure.”
Meanwhile, the Ambassador announced that the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) will be establishing a branch in Guyana in August.
The Ambassador sees that as a good initiative that will bring the two countries closer together.
AMCHAM is expected to attract and represent American business interests and this is especially critical as more US companies are beginning to signal its interest in investing in Guyana, as the country gets closer to commercial oil production in 2020.