The capabilities of key agencies tasked with monitoring the offshore oil and gas operations in Guyana have been strengthened over the last two years and work is ongoing to further build capacity as production ramps up in the new oil producing South American nation
Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, told Parliamentarians last month that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has strengthened its capacity through international consultants and satellite monitoring.
Mr. Bharrat said the programme at the EPA grew from three members of staff to 13, that is dedicated full time towards monitoring oil and gas activities.
“We have 13 staff members, and we also have satellite monitoring. These are staff members who are dedicated towards monitoring of oil and gas. What we would’ve done too is to strengthen the capacity,” he said.
Another key agency where capacity is being built, is the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) which has responsibility for standardisation, formulation and application of standards, technical regulations, conformity assessment procedures and metrology.
The Agency has grown from 65 to 130 employees since the emergence of oil.
“We know that GNBS play a major role in terms of monitoring; it’s not only in terms of calibration and measurement, but in terms of monitoring real-time, and having a presence on the FPSO,” Mr. Bharrat said. So, we would’ve strengthened their capacity…and we do have persons with a physical presence on both FPSOs doing real-time monitoring for us.”
ExxonMobil has found around 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources offshore Guyana since 2015 and is currently producing around 360,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) from the Liza Phase 1 and 2 developments.
Two other projects have already been approved – Payara and Yellowtail – with around 250,000 bpd and 275,000 bpd respectively. A fifth project – Uaru – is already being planned.
By 2027, total output is expected to hit 1.2 million bpd and Norway-based Rystad Energy projects production will climb to around 1.7 million bpd by 2035, with significant potential for more upside.