Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said the government is currently reworking the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act of 1986, to modernise its provisions.
The Act applies to the exploration, extraction, conservation, and management of petroleum reserves existing in Guyana’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Oil exploration has been taking place in Guyana for decades. But since the first commercial oil discovery in the Stabroek Block by ExxonMobil in 2015, offshore activity has ramped up. With this came the need for a revision to the law.
Dr. Jagdeo said it is likely that by March 2023, the Bill will be passed into law. Prior to the passing of a Bill, lawmakers subject it to debate in the House.
This was demonstrated in August 2021 when lawmakers debated a minor amendment to the Petroleum Act. That Bill amended land use provisions to cater for laying of the onshore pipeline for the Gas-to-Energy project and fibre optic cables to improve connectivity between ExxonMobil’s offshore and onshore petroleum operations.
Guyana has already put in place laws to govern its Natural Resource Fund and Local Content. These laws govern the management of the proceeds from oil and gas extraction and the utilisation of Guyanese goods and services.