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Monday, November 23, 2020

Start date, scope for review of Guyana local content policy to be worked out – Energy Consultant

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OilNOW
OilNow is an online-based Information and Resource Centre which serves to complement the work of all stakeholders in the oil and gas sector in Guyana.

Trinidadian energy consultant Anthony Paul says details for his engagement with the Government of Guyana to review the country’s Local Content Policy are being worked out.

Mr. Paul recently confirmed to OilNOW that he was contacted by the newly installed administration in Guyana to assist with the review of the local content policy that was finalized earlier this year.

“To be honest, I can’t say much more than has been said by the client. They know what they want and have taken the lead,” Mr. Paul told OilNOW on Saturday. “So far, they have asked if I am interested in helping and I said yes, of course. We have to work out start date, scope, etc. The conversation is ongoing.”

On a recent local radio show, Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat had expressed the administration’s dissatisfaction with the current Local Content Policy which had been unveiled in February 2020.

“I’ve had a chance to look at [the policy] but I can tell you…that policy is more slanted to the investors rather than to the locals. That is something that we need to look at and change,” Mr. Bharrat said. “The President has already given that instruction and we have contacted consultants who have [the] knowledge and who would have worked on such documents before to assist in drafting a local content framework that will benefit Guyana [and not just the investor].”

He had cited a lack of specifics in the current policy such as the number of persons to be trained and/or employed yearly and the percentage of the workforce that must be Guyanese. He noted that it is these shortcomings that the review will seek to remedy.

Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, at a press conference last week told reporters government will be moving to put stringent measures in place to ensure more benefits from oil and gas are derived by Guyanese which will see legislation being enacted, instead of just a policy.

“It will be mandatory on the company to comply with the legislation. So…we want to get the best technical inputs before we come up with a negotiating brief that will be cleared at the policy level and then we want to engage directly with Exxon[Mobil] to see that this happens,” Mr. Jagdeo said.

Described as a fit for purpose document, the current policy was said to have offered a balanced alignment between the Government of Guyana’s policy goals whilst maintaining consistency with the country’s regional and international trade and economic obligations.

In 2017, Mr. Paul was instrumental in drafting the first local content policy framework for Guyana under the auspices of the Ministry of Natural Resources.

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