Petroleum Commission set to play critical role in Guyana oil & gas industry

ExxonMobil Country Manager in Guyana, Rod Henson and Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, speaking at the opening of ExxonMobil's Centre for Business Development, in Georgetown, Guyana.

Once established, the Petroleum Commission of Guyana will assume a lead role in monitoring and regulating the efficient, safe, effective and environmentally responsible exploration, development and production of petroleum in the South American country.

The Commission will be tasked with promoting the policies of the government in the exploration, development and production of petroleum and will advise the Minister of Natural Resources on all key matters relating to the sector. It will make recommendations on applications for petroleum prospecting and production licences, and manage bid rounds.

Among the key responsibilities, the Commission will advise and provide information to the relevant authority for the collection of taxes and fees and participate in the measurement of petroleum for assessment of royalty and profit oil or gas.

In the case of US super major ExxonMobil, the Commission will ensure the operator, its contractors and sub-contractors as well as all those operating on their behalf, comply with applicable laws. ExxonMobil is currently developing the Liza field offshore Guyana in preparation for first oil in mid-2020. Hess and Nexen are ExxonMobil’s joint venture partners in this project.

In addition to these responsibilities, the Petroleum Commission of Guyana will also monitor activities such as reserve estimation and measurement of the produced oil and gas. It will carry out all other inspections and audits in keeping with the functions of the Commission, and as required by law.

A national petroleum databank, including a central database of operators and other persons involved in petroleum activities, will be established, and the Commission will manage petroleum data and provide periodic updates to the public.

On the matter of local content, the Commission will promote the participation of Guyanese in the industry and further the objectives of a local content policy framework, which at present, is being reviewed.

Members of the public in Guyana have been asked to share their views on the Petroleum Commission of Guyana Bill 2017, to help aid in the work of a Parliamentary Special Select Committee currently studying the proposed legislation. The Bill was presented to Guyana’s National Assembly by Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, on May 8.