Saturday, September 30, 2023

Open remaining oil blocks to competitive auction or keep them – Jagdeo

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Leader of the Opposition and former President of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo, is calling for the implementation of competitive bidding for remaining oil blocks or for them to be kept for future generations.

Responding to questions from the media, the Opposition Leader made known his dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of the budding petroleum sector and outlined several issues he believes needs urgent attention.

“For months, I, like other Guyanese, have witnessed the Coalition Government fail on its promise to deliver on the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund.  The current Administration has neglected to work on a solid and apolitical management architecture for our emerging oil and gas sector,” he stated.

Mr. Jagdeo said he has urged the current administration to “take cognizance of the Santiago Principles and a model similar to the principles on which the Norwegian model was developed.”

But the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund he said, is only one element of a management framework for the sector.

“I have said before that there should be no ministerial involvement in the Petroleum Commission; that the remaining oil blocks should be subject to a competitive auction or kept for future generations; and that we should complete the work on the Local Content framework,” he stated.

Some members of the business community including President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Deodat Indar, have also been calling for remaining oil blocks to be kept for future generations and for legislation governing  local content to be enacted.

Regarding the Petroleum Commission, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman told OilNOW in a recent interview that efforts are being made to address the concerns of several stakeholders that the Petroleum Commission of Guyana Bill in its current form bestows too much authority in the subject minister.

But Mr. Jagdeo is of the view that very little progress is being made to put systems in place in preparation for first oil.  “There have been no substantive moves in any of these directions.  As I have said before there is no clear management framework for the oil and gas sector,” he said.

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