Former Energy Minister for Trinidad and Tobago, Kevin Ramnarine, is of the firm opinion that the finality of the five-month long 2020 polls represents an important day for democracy in Guyana as well as the new PPP/C Government. But even as it takes time to celebrate this victory, Ramnarine said that the Irfaan Ali administration has tremendous work ahead of it, especially as it relates to managing the oil and gas sector.
During an interview with OilNOW, Ramnarine posited that there is a global perception that President Ali is at the steering wheel of a country that is not as prepared as it should have been for the oil industry.
The former Energy Minister said, “…I think everyone would agree that not much was done prior to him coming into office to prepare the country for the industry and it is moving at a rapid pace. That pace cannot be stopped. Investments are in train. So, the administration has to move quickly to address the issue of a robust legislative framework for oil and gas…”
In this regard, Ramnarine said that Guyana desperately needs laws that will advance efficient operations in the oil sector, especially in the areas of health and safety and the protection of the environment.
He suggested as well that it would be key for the new President to get an understanding of how the Liza project has performed thus far, the amount of oil produced and sold, and an assessment of taxes and revenues collected.
Ramnarine said too, that it would be critical for the new President to meet soon with ExxonMobil for a status report on its current performance and future plans. He said it would be key to discuss as well, the delayed Payara development project.
Further to this, the Trinidadian said, “…There is a lot of work to do and I am sure he would be addressing his policy on skills development for oil and gas because there are a lot of programmes that can be brought to Guyana especially at the technical level. There is a lot of good will and I think he will get the job done.”
At the end of the day, Ramnarine said he is feels nothing but tremendous optimism for the future of Guyana. Once the right steps are taken to protect the industry and increase value, the former Minister said he is sure Guyana would achieve its dream of becoming one of the richest countries in the world.