Policy calls for ‘first consideration of Guyanese’ in new O&G hotspot

Guyanese crew members on-board the Liza Destiny FPSO, producing oil offshore Guyana at the Stabroek Block

In making decisions concerning recruitment and procurement to execute petroleum activities, operators and their contractors in Guyana’s emerging oil and gas industry are expected to give first consideration to Guyanese persons having appropriate qualifications and experience, and to Guyanese suppliers where capable and competitive.

So says the country’s ‘fit-for-purpose’ Local Content Policy (LCP), released this week by the Department of Energy.

Acknowledging that the use of new or unfamiliar labour and suppliers introduces an element of risk, the Government says it intends to work with industry partners to minimize the risks to manageable levels, rather than completely avoid them.

“We are confident that given the industry’s hallmarks of innovation and risk management, operators and their contractors can come up with mutually beneficial risk-based solutions that give first consideration to Guyanese persons having appropriate qualifications and experience, and to Guyanese suppliers who are commercially competitive and able to provide goods and services on a timely basis that meet the quality, quantity, financial and other technical requirements of the petroleum industry,” the LCP outlines.

In exercising the principle of first consideration, operators and their primary contractors shall explore creative solutions to provide on-the-job training which, without compromising workplace safety, enable Guyanese to be hired and then learn-whilst-doing.  Solutions may include apprenticeships, mentoring, job-shadowing, on-site and off-site training.

According to the LCP, operators and their contractors shall identify categories of goods and services required for petroleum operations for which there is evidence of Guyanese suppliers having the required capability, capacity and price competitiveness to be considered for inclusion in an expression of interest or otherwise be engaged in a procurement process. This could be either directly or as sub-contractors, or through forms of partnership with more experienced firms, such as consortia, alliances and joint ventures.

With regards to the determination of a ‘Guyanese Supplier’, the LCP says the Minister of Petroleum may elect to establish an appropriate agency to be responsible for the issuance of supplier classification certificates, in accordance with the definitions under the policy.

The government, operators and primary contractors will be working in concert to maintain up-to-date information on the Guyanese labour market sufficient to determine the availability of appropriately qualified and experienced Guyanese to participate in petroleum operations.

The LCP states that the half-year and end-of-year reports from operators will be used to continuously review and refine the opportunities and constraints in developing Local Content in Guyana, as well as to inform how government and industry collaborate to drive Local Content development.