A senior government official told lawmakers last week that Guyana must prepare for a massive uptick in demand for a range of goods and services driven by what can become a 12-FPSO, 1.5 million barrels of oil per day industry.
Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill said the demand for services will go way beyond the offshore needs and provides the basis for booming commercial activities driven by Guyanese employees and companies.
He pointed out that Guyana will not remain a one-FPSO operation and authorities are therefore thinking down the line where as much as 12 FPSOs could be operating offshore producing over 1.5 million barrels of oil per day.
“It means more people have to be fed, more people have to be accommodated because when they are on rotations, there must be apartments for them to stay,” Edghill said. “If there are apartments, these apartments need to be maintained. There needs to be landscaping, more people need fruits and vegetables, more people staying at hotels need tomatoes and cucumbers.”
The official said the growing demand will also create more need for transportation services. He urged local taxi drivers to think big and look at investing in several cars so that they can provide executive services to oil companies.
“The service providers, whether it is hair and nails and all the rest of it; it must be local people that are providing this,” he said. “We must be able to create employment in every sector. So, it’s not just the people who are going onboard, it’s not just the people who are working on the supply vessels, it’s not just the people who are directly linked to operations offshore Guyana.”
President Irfaan Ali on Friday assented to the landmark Local Content Bill 2021 at a simple ceremony held at the Office of the President in Georgetown, making it the law of the land.
“It sets the framework for Guyanese to win, and that is what we’re interested in,” Mr. Ali told those gathered.
He emphasised that his government’s priority is to move Guyana and its citizens forward and that barriers must be dismantled to build a cohesive vehicle that would drive the country to prosperity.
ExxonMobil has found over 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent offshore since 2015 and began oil production in late 2019. A second FPSO is currently spread moored at the Stabroek Block preparing for start-up early this year. A third vessel is already confirmed and the fourth and largest project to date is awaiting government approval.
The South American country of just over 750,000 people is poised to become the largest per capita oil producer in the word by the end of this decade.