Trent University Prof. cautions Guyanese on oil development ‘myth’ at GIPEX 2018

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Trent University Professor, Suresh Narine, told participants at the Guyana International Petroleum Exhibition and Summit (GIPEX 2018) held in Guyana last week that revenue from oil production must be utilized to ensure across the board improvements in peoples’ development index, since the money on its own will not translate to prosperity.

Professor Suresh Narine was at the time delivering a technical presentation to international oil executives gathered in Guyana for the inaugural event held at the Marriott Hotel from February 7 to 9.

Addressing the delegates, Professor Narine – who also serves as Executive Director of oil exploration company CGX Energy Inc. – provided a keynote presentation on Oil, Science and Sustainability, themed;  ‘The Guyana Opportunity: Generation of Capital from Finite Resources to unlock Science-led sustainable growth.

According to Professor Narine, countries such as Guyana would do well to invest in access to food, clean water, healthy environment and individual freedoms “in a manner which guards against haphazard, reactionary investment – indeed in a manner driven my multi-stakeholder policy-driven interventions.

He alluded to Lisa Waters, Vice President of ExxonMobil and her nexus drawn between the development of the resource and its correlation between the United Nations Human Development Index. Professor Narine surmised, “The data clearly shows that when countries per capita annual consumption of energy reaches nearly a few thousand kilowatt hours, countries move near the top of the Human Development Index.”

As such, within the Guyana context, the questions that the slide begs, of course, are; will Guyanese rapidly move from where we currently stand on this index to near the top simply by becoming producers of petroleum?  And for how long shall we maintain this good life, if we are able to attain it – will it only be over the lifetime of our reserves?”

The CGX Executive Director was adamant “the answer to these questions lie not with our partners such as ExxonMobil, but from within.”

According to the Trent University Professor, “How we (in Guyana) manage this industry and how we deploy the proceeds from it, our enablement and careful stewardship of sustainable industries and attention to the sustenance, promotion and protection of our marvelous environmental and cultural diversity, is entirely within our hands.”

He suggested “not only must we ask what the emergence of this industry will mean to our current generation – we must envision the Guyana we wish for the next and future generations and lay the groundwork now, as many of the decisions we make now will only affect the next generation in 25 years or so.”


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