Security high on agenda as O&G preparations intensify in Guyana

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    An inter-ministerial technical cooperation and petroleum committee is being set up in Guyana by the Department of Energy (DOE) as a means to encourage greater interagency collaboration; focusing on a broad spectrum of matters including security, in the country’s emerging oil and gas industry.

    This is according to Director of the DOE, Dr. Mark Bynoe, speaking at a news conference on Monday at the Ministry of the Presidency in Guyana’s capital, Georgetown.

    He noted that some of the discussions held under this framework included representatives from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Ministry of Education, University of Guyana and the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training. Also, discussions will soon be held with the Ministry of Public Security.

    Dr. Bynoe explained that “In terms of the Ministry of Public Security, Guyana has had some issues in relation to piracy sometime back and we are expecting that ocean-going vessels will definitely increase in frequency to service FPSOs (Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessels), the drillships, the rigs and so forth.”

    Therefore, he noted that it is important to start thinking about the security from that angle. He also believes that much thought must be given to what goes on beneath the water, as exploration activities are being ramped up to meet the 2020 deadline for commercial oil production.

    Dr. Bynoe said, “… the vessels coming into our waters will also need to be protected because much can happen beneath the water that we are not seeing.”

    But, apart from that, the Director highlighted that the main aspect of the discussion is to zero-in on the fact that, “As economic activities increase, there will be more monies circulating in the economy and there will be more possibilities for deviant behavior.”

    As it relates to airport security, he expressed the view that more needs to be done in that area. “Much of what will be used to service those vessels will likely emanate out of the Eugene Correia Airport. I think it is well-established fact that we need to enhance the quality of security at that airport because of the strict standards that are established in the industry in terms of what will be allowed on and off these ships,” he stated.

    Meanwhile, the DOE Director disclosed that more than six advisers will be contracted by the Department to assist in building a transparent and accountable oil and gas sector. He said the DOE is aiming to position itself to efficiently and effectively manage the industry.