“We are confident that there will be a Local Content framework long before first oil.” This assurance was given by Director of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe as he addressed media operatives at his first press conference since assuming office in August of this year. Also present at the press conference was oil and gas Advisor, Mathew Wilks.
Currently, the Department is in the process of recruiting a consultant to finalise the draft local content document.
“Out of that, we then hope to have…a white paper which can be taken to Parliament,” he told the media.
A white paper informs readers about a complex issue and contains proposals for the specific policy area suggested during the consultation process. It goes to Parliament for approval before it becomes the official policy.
Dr. Bynoe noted that there have been consultations with the private sector which has in the past few months made a lot of fuss about local content.
“What we’re aiming at is to take the points they would have raised and input that into the second draft and so finalise – before the end of the year,” Dr. Bynoe said.
He noted that one of the areas being promoted in the document is the need for joint ventures –something which he said not only contributes to upgrading local companies but also prosperity of the sector. Such ventures he said, can “capture the benefits accruing to Guyana in jobs and revenue derived.”
The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) had submitted a draft local content policy document to the Government in an effort to fast track this process.
However, local businesses have already begun taking steps to benefit from the oil and gas industry through joint ventures and training.
Additionally, the Department is also reviewing legislation governing the Energy sector even as it works to build its local expertise.
Dr. Bynoe noted that the review covers the Petroleum (Production and Exploration) Act 1986. The review will also include fiscal policies.
Advisor on Oil and Gas, Mathew Wilks noted that “if you’re looking to increase and protect state revenues going forward, not only do you have to look at renewed or modified Production Sharing Agreements (PSA), you also have to look at the surrounding legislation which includes fiscal legislation and tax schemes.”
A first presentation on the review is expected on November 13, Dr. Bynoe said. He added that finalization can be expected before the end of 2018.