Petroleum Act, scientific institute and offshore logistics base among top priorities for 2018 – Trotman

Raphael Trotman, Guyana's Minister of Natural Resources

Guyana will be looking to ramp up its preparation for first oil in 2018 with a number of key initiatives being placed on the front burner according to the country’s Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman.

Speaking at a symposium organized by the University of Guyana on Friday at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown, Mr. Trotman said in 2018 the ministry will intensify its work for the establishment of key institutions and facilities in the oil and gas sector.

These include, “A national oil company with responsibility for Guyana’s commercial interest in the sector, a scientific institute to support cutting edge regulation and development of the sector… (and) an offshore logistics base, which will serve to not only support the operations of the oil operators, and bring much needed revenue to Guyana, but also support the development of other local industries.”

The scientific institute “is supported by the Government of Mexico, a country which has a world recognised scientific programme that supports the development of its oil industry,” he pointed out.

Work on the national oil company is being supported in part by Chatam House and the policies for this initiative have already been worked out, Mr. Trotman previously told OilNOW.

According to the World Bank, national oil companies account for more than 75% of global oil production and as of 2010 controlled 90% of proven oil reserves in the word. Due to their increasing dominance over global reserves, the importance of national oil companies relative to international oil companies, such as ExxonMobil, BP, or Royal Dutch Shell, has risen dramatically in recent decades.

Mr. Trotman also reminded that the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act is being revised and will be up for public engagement and consultations within the first quarter of 2018.

“This is the main piece of legislation which details the conduct of activities and their regulation within the sector. This Act will be supported by a series of detailed regulations, the first series of which will speak to the technical, health, safety and environmental requirements,” he said.

Other important initiatives include; the Petroleum Commission of Guyana Bill which is aimed at establishing an agency responsible for the regulation of the sector, petroleum taxation and other fiscal legislation, and the Sovereign Wealth Fund Bill. “This process is being led by the Ministry of Finance and is a key feature of Guyana’s responsible and prudent management of revenues from this sector,” the natural resources minister pointed out.

The University of Guyana says it envisions this initial event as an opportunity to begin the orientation of Faculty, students and other training institutions towards strategic training to support the oil and gas industry.