Guyana News Updates, October 17, 2022

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the Commonwealth Foundation are organising two events in the run up to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El Sheikh. These events are designed to complement each other, offering multiple perspectives in the energy/development/climate change debate:

18th October 2022

The Commonwealth Foundation is hosting Just Transitions, as part of their Critical Conversation series. It will be one of three events the Foundation is holding ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference.

https://commonwealthfoundation.com/series/the-case-for-climate-justice-commonwealth-small-island-states-at-cop27/

19th October 2022

The ICWS is organising an online discussion ‘Challenges to Commonwealth Green Transitions: the Cases of Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago’https://commonwealth.sas.ac.uk/events/challenges-commonwealth-green-transitions .

What may the next decade of US-Caribbean energy cooperation bring?

WED, OCTOBER 19, 2022 • 12:00 PM ET

–        A conversation with the Minister of Energy and Energy Industries for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on the future of US-Caribbean energy cooperation.

Energy Outlook in the Americas – Florida International University

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 – 12pm – 1:30pmEDT

https://calendar.fiu.edu/event/energy_outlook_in_the_americas#.Y0YgmEzMLIU

http://go.fiu.edu/LATAMEnergy

US Department of Commerce Caribbean Trade Mission & Conference

October 23-28, 2022

Miami and various Caribbean markets

https://www.trade.gov/caribbean-trade-mission

Caribbean Investment Forum

November 8-11, 2022 – Trinidad

https://www.caribbeaninvestmentforum.com/?utm_source=Caribbean+Export+List&utm_campaign=856bee512b-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2022_09_16_main_flyer&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9e96a5189f-856bee512b-52236001

Caribbean Investment Forum launched with focus on building resilience and boosting investment in the region | Caribbean Export

https://carib-export.com/news/caribbean-investment-forum-launched-with-focus-on-building-resilience-and-boosting-investment-in-the-region/?utm_source=Caribbean+Export+List&utm_campaign=8e7ac5b737-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_cedigest_sep_2022&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9e96a5189f-8e7ac5b737-52236001

Guyana opens tender for its first oil refinery | Reuters

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/guyana-opens-tender-its-first-oil-refinery-2022-10-17/

Almost US$1 billion in oil revenue could be plugged into Guyana’s 2023 budget: OilNOW

Guyana’s updated Natural Resource Fund Act outlines a clear and simple formula for the calculation of withdrawals allowable from the Fund each year. Based on this formula, using US$1.247 billion expected from oil in 2022, approximately US$998.5 million is projected to be available for withdrawal and spending in the new year. This would represent 80% of the Fund’s expected 2022 inflows. Consequently, US$248.5 million (20%) remains in savings.

Guyana rakes in biggest windfall from quarterly oil production | OilNOW

https://oilnow.gy/featured/guyana-rakes-in-biggest-windfall-from-quarterly-oil-production/

Guyana won’t become next Dubai without foreign expertise, development of entrepreneurial talent – Int’l Advisor: OilNOW

By unlocking significant oil resources in the ExxonMobil-operated Stabroek Block, one consultant after another has often said Guyana is poised to become the next Qatar or Dubai of the region. But such a promising future cannot come to pass if Guyana does not devise a strategy to enlist the help of foreign experts while developing its own entrepreneurial talent, says David Lewis, a Fellow of the Caribbean Policy Consortium.

Local educator says rapid development of skills must be high on Guyana’s agenda: OilNOW

For Guyana to succeed with the implementation of its Local Content Legislation, its regulators must keep rapid skills development at the top of mind, says University of Guyana Professor, Dr. Leyland Lucas. The educator made this point during a virtual panel discussion facilitated by the Guyana Business Journal on Wednesday. Hosted by Founder and Associate Professor, Dr. Terrence Richard Blackman, the topic for discussion was Implementing Guyana’s Local Content Policy: Challenges and Opportunities.

Guyana’s first electric vehicle charging stations expected in four months: OilNOW

The first major step to kick-off Guyana’s automotive transition is drawing near. The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) expects the first electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, part of a pilot project, to arrive in February 2023. The project includes the supply of six charging stations to be placed across the coast. The contract was awarded to Flash Motors Company Limited of Jamaica, Chief Executive Officer of GEA, Dr. Mahender Sharma, told OilNOW.

Unappealing fiscal terms, mature gas fields placing Trinidad at risk: OilNOW

Arthur Deakin, Analyst at Americas Market Intelligence (AMI) believes that Trinidad and Tobago’s oil and gas prospects remain dire and will continue to spiral without new oil and gas discoveries. In an OilNOW column, Deakin noted that T&T has been struggling with declining gas reserves, a result of having mature gas fields, unappealing fiscal terms, and overshadowing discoveries in neighbouring countries like Guyana and Suriname.

Local firms must up their game; ‘I forget it; I gun get it to yuh tomorrow’ can’t work: OilNOW 

Guyana’s Local Content legislation is designed to increase citizens’ participation in the oil and gas sector in at least 40 areas of work. These include rental of office space and equipment, catering services, janitorial and laundry services, and public relations. These categories can indeed generate millions of dollars in revenue. But they only account for the fundamentals or basic opportunities in local content, says University of Guyana Professor, Dr. Leyland Lucas.

Law empowers Local Content Secretariat to have unrestricted access to oil companies’ facilities, records, & reports: Kaieteur News

According to Guyana’s Local Content Legislation, officials attached to the Local Content Secretariat or a representative of that body can have unrestricted access to a contractor, subcontractor or licensee’s facilities, records, reports, documents, data, and information. Such access is allowed for the purposes of monitoring, assessing, evaluating, investigating, auditing, and verifying compliance with the Act.

Exxon seeking project manager for construction of training institute in Guyana: OilNOW 

ExxonMobil Guyana is seeking a project manager for the construction of the national oil and gas training institute it is building, in partnership with the Guyana government. The institution, styled the ‘Guyana Technical Training Center Inc.’, will be situated at Port Mourant Berbice, Region Six, next to a training centre run by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). ExxonMobil outlined robust local content requirements which will be applied to the procurement process.

Guyana regulator says no impact study needed for rope access training facility: OilNOW

Guyana’s regulator, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Friday that Qualco Guyana Inc. is not required to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for its Rope Access Training and Workshop Facility located at Supply, East Bank Demerara. “The EPA has determined that this project will not significantly affect the environment and is therefore exempt from the requirement,” the agency said in a notice. Citing reasons for its decision, the EPA said it has sufficient environmental information on the project and that the application and project summary submitted outlined adequate mitigation measures.

Good hands: Guyana Chronicle (Editorial)

GUYANA has been given high marks by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for its handling of the economy, especially in the context of the country’s emerging status as an oil-and-gas producer. The IMF is a global multinational financial institution which has, over the decades, provided not only financial assistance to member countries but also policy and technical advice. As such, the views and opinions of the IMF cannot be dismissed or brushed aside, since they could influence the decision-making processes of other financial institutions.

Oil money helping to ease impact of inflation, says government: OilNOW

Following the passage of the Natural Resource Fund (NRF) legislation, the Guyana government has been able to authorise a US$607.6 million transfer to support the 2022 budget. The administration has said that the withdrawal would be used to invest heavily in capital expenditure while supporting the critical needs of the vulnerable population. The government was keen to note that the strong oil windfall is therefore allowing the authorities to improve the standard of living of citizens as well as temporarily lower rates or remove taxes on selected items, including gas and diesel fuels, to mitigate the impact of rising inflation.

More Guyana barrels will go to Europe, says Chief Economist: OilNOW

With Europe scrambling for alternative energy sources in wake of the Russia-Ukraine war, Guyana’s light, sweet crude has assumed greater importance to the continent’s consumers. This was discussed by Scott B. MacDonald, Chief Economist for Smith’s Research & Gradings, and Research Fellow with Global Americans, in an OilNOW column. Guyana, he said, exported 116,900 barrels of oil per day (bpd) of crude in 2021, most being sold to Asian countries, including China and India, while shipments to Europe accounted for around 16% of the total.

Catering consortium to be formed to supply food to oil and gas vessels: Guyana Chronicle  

A CONSORTIUM comprising catering companies from across Guyana is expected to be formed soon to bid for contracts to provide meals and food supplies to floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels. This was announced by President, Dr Irfaan Ali, on Sunday while he delivered remarks at a Youman Nabi service at the Leguan Masjid. During this address, the Head of State said that he instructed Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, to work on bringing together a consortium of all major caterers in the country.

Guyana is an independent country with full national sovereignty: Guyana Chronicle (Letter to the Editor) by Dr. Randy Persaud

I WRITE in response to Arthur Deakin’s claim “…that Guyana…needs the participation of an independent and international body in the monitoring of these [NRF]funds to ensure appropriate and transparent spending of the revenues.” Mr Deakin is the Director of Energy Practice at American Market Intelligence, a Florida-based outfit. His concern is that the executive branch of the GoG has too many ties to those bodies and individuals responsible for drawing on the funds from the NRF. Mr Deakin does not appear to know that Guyana is an independent country and has full national sovereignty. The suggestion is not only without merit, but it is also disrespectful.

Response to Prof Hunte, et al (Series 2, Part II): Guyana Chronicle (Letter to the Editor) by Joel Bhangwandin

PROFESSOR Hunte appears to be having great challenges defending his magicnomics on the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA), and by extension great difficulty debunking my counter arguments on his nonsensical and flawed analysis. Failing to rise to the challenge on the back of his own academic wherewithal, he brought out an army of professors and self-anointed experts to his rescue, despite their failed attempts to comprehensively rebuff the counterarguments and analyses by the undersigned.

IMF report highlights policies that encourage and protect overall growth: Guyana Chronicle (Columnist) Oil, gas & you

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF), an independent financial agency of the United Nations that includes 190 countries, published their 2022 Article IV Consultation report on Guyana. While these reports offer detailed insights into a country’s economy, as discussed in last week’s column, they also explore the legal and regulatory situation within a country that could shape the economy for better or worse. Beyond the economic transformation happening in Guyana, the additional findings from the report showcase a strong regulatory environment in Guyana.

‘CNOOC Petroleum’ opens local headquarters: Guyana Chronicle 

–Prime Minister says investors with Guyana’s best interest at heart essential to development

PRIME Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, has lauded CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Ltd for its commitment to its Guyana operations, noting that it underscores that strong partnerships are essential to the overall success of any operation. According to the Prime Minister, the transformative oil and gas sector requires development partners who could collaborate with Guyana to advance its interests and objectives.

Guyana, Qatar discuss avenues for growth in O&G sector: Guyana Chronicle

THE Government of Guyana continues to forge meaningful relations with countries, as development in the oil and gas sector continues. Guyana’s Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud, in an interview with the Department of Public Information, said: “With Guyana in pursuit of transforming its economy, while building new sectors, the country continues to deepen its relationship with its international allies. Especially as the country’s rate of growth in the oil and gas sector continues.”

Petro Dollars and Sense!: Guyana Chronicle (Columnist) Chronicles of a Chronic Guyana Chronicler by Earl Bousquet

Part 3: CARICOM’s PetroCaribe Conundrum

This series examines Guyana’s Oil & Gas options globally on the eve of the Final Quarter of the 21st Year of Century 21, as the world’s richest nations pay higher costs to fight inflation and try to avoid pending recession, while also scurrying to secure adequate alternative energy supplies to replace Russian gas. WHEN Presidents Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro dreamed up the PetroCaribe agreement in just short of two decades ago, not one barrel of oil had been extracted in Guyana. ExxonMobil’s initial discussions with the PPP/Civic administration, (circa 1996) were originally fruitless, but fructified less than a decade later following deals signed up under the APNU+AFC alliance after 2015.

News Room: CNOCC Petroleum Guyana Limited, which holds a 25% working interest in the giant oilfields of the Stabroek Block with Exxon Mobil and Hess, on Friday afternoon opened its new head office in Georgetown. The company said its vision is to advance as a sustainable energy provider for all, while supporting communities where it works.

Exxon’s 4th Guyana FPSO: Construction of topsides commences in Singapore: OilNOW 

SBM Offshore said construction of the topsides modules for the ‘ONE GUYANA’ floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel and the accompanying marine structures has commenced in Singapore. Two steel strike ceremonies were held in both Keppel FELS and Dynamac yards in September, marking this key milestone. ONE GUYANA is the fourth and latest sanctioned FPSO under construction by SBM Offshore for its long-standing client, ExxonMobil, the shipbuilder said.

I have waited for the appropriate time to debate Chris Ram on oil and gas matters: Stabroek News (Letter to the Editor) by Joel Bhangwandin

Reference is made to Christopher Ram’s letter to the Editor of Stabroek News dated October 12, 2022, where he referred to me as a ‘self-described adjunct professor’. I have never used that title to describe myself. I first met Chris Ram back in 2016 under the previous government. I was on the verge of completing my first master’s degree in banking and finance when I came across an advert for CEO of NICIL in the newspapers by Ram and McRae. At that time, I was second-in-charge of the GBTI Port Kaituma branch.

Response to Chris Ram (Part I): Guyana Chronicle (Letter to the Editor) by Joel Bhangwandin

REFERENCE is made to Christopher Ram’s letter to the Editor of Stabroek News dated October 12, 2022, where he sardonically referred to me as a self-described adjunct professor. If one were to check my professional profile on LinkedIn and my curriculum vitae (CV) which is also on the Internet, I have never used that title to describe myself. I’ve been writing consistently for the past five years, I presented at many public forums, sat on many panel discussions, including with Chris Ram, appeared on television programmes, etc., and I have never used that title to describe myself.

‘Govt. approving more oil projects to the detriment of Guyana’: Kaieteur News

– Patterson says population can be the most unhealthy in the World next five years

Shadow Minister of Natural Resources, David Patterson is adamant that the Government of Guyana prefers to have an “under-staffed” and “undermined” Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) even if it means putting the country at risk to show off Guyana as the most fast-paced developing country in the World. While focused on this objective, the former Minister of Public Infrastructure said it may end with the citizens of Guyana being the unhealthiest in the world, owing to the inadequate performance of the regulatory body.

Is this an audit, or is it a case of bury it?: Kaieteur News (Editorial)

We had made our position clear from the inception: that audit of ExxonMobil’s US$9B in expenses was not going to go down well.  Now here we are almost at the end of October, and of word regarding that same four-month audit, there is deafening silence from the PPP/C Government. The audit that was scheduled to be completed at the conclusion of September, but regarding its state, there is nothing. It looks like it is going to go the way that almost everything that the PPP/C Government and leaders made big and bold promises about sharing with Guyanese. 

Keep on… kvetching: Guyana Times (Columnist) Eyewitness

Your Eyewitness looked at the dozen protestors in front of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its supervisory Environmental Assessment Board (EAB) kvetching about the latter’s permits for companies storing wastes onshore without consulting citizens… But weren’t some such complaints taken to the courts where ‘satisfaction” was given?? Your Eyewitness remembers one in which an EPA permission to Exxon was limited by the Courts to five years. And didn’t the system work when a few months ago, the EAB overruled the EPA’s decision to waive EIA for radioactive storage facility at Coverden on the EBD??

Four years on, whistleblower protection legislation is yet to be brought into effectStabroek News (Columnist) Accountability Watch by Anand Goolsarran

A clarification for online users who may not have access to the full article… In 2019, ExxonMobil dismissed two of its scientists after suspecting them of leaking information to the Wall Street Journal. A federal whistleblower investigation, however, found that communication with the newspaper of alleged company violations is protected activity under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and that the company terminated their services illegally. As a result, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ordered Exxon to immediately reinstate the two employees and pay them more than $800,000 in back wages, interest and compensatory damages.

Natural Resource Fund can make a real difference to people but will it?: Stabroek News (Letter to the Editor) by Cathy Hughes

I’m sitting on the balcony at the guest house in Paramakatoi looking out on the majestic Kawa mountains, the cool breezes blowing over the rugged and harsh terrain. I have just spent $2,500 for 24 hours of internet access which ended in 17 minutes. The WhatsApp message I’m able to read has me stunned. Our Natural Resource Fund now has one billion US dollars accumulated in it! I want to celebrate.

It is time for Op-Ed: Renegotiation: PPP Govt must also be onboard: Village Voice News by GHK Lall

Everybody is talking about it; all want it to happen now.  It is called renegotiation of the 2016 oil contract, with the AFC being the latest to throw its hat on that side of the ring.  The PNC has not come full out for or against renegotiation, but there have been sounds coming from the party that could be interpreted as anything that gives Guyana a better deal, more favorable contract conditions, is well-received, and would be strongly supported. 

Govt. silent on US$9 billion audit of Exxon’s expenses – Aubrey Norton: Kaieteur News

A four month audit into the bills handed to Guyana by oil giant, ExxonMobil, over the years 2018 to 2020 was scheduled to be completed in September of this year, but although the findings from that review will soon be overdue by one month, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government is yet to give an update into the massive spending of the oil company. Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton has blamed the ‘incompetence’ of the administration for failing to publish the findings of the report, cognizant that there has been no word from the party where the audit is concerned.

We will not sit back and allow greedy foreigners to destroy our country – ‘Red Thread’: Kaieteur News

…ExxonMobil must leave country clean for future generations

As American oil major, ExxonMobil continues to ramp up oil production in the country, the members of a women organisation, ‘Red Thread’, have made it clear that they will not sit back and allow their country to be destroyed by ‘greedy foreigners.’ On Friday last, Wintress White, one of the 40 members of Red Thread participated in a picket exercise outside the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Ganges Street, Georgetown Head Office lobbying the body to perform its mandate of safeguarding the environment.

‘Don’t weep for me, weep for Guyana’: Kaieteur News

– Glenn Lall says theft by Politicians, foreigners trump millions stolen from his company by bandits

Bandits last week stormed the Kaieteur News Saffon Street, Charlestown, Georgetown office and escaped with millions in cash and other items, but Publisher of the newspaper, Glenn Lall said though he is concerned about the daring robbery, he sees billions of this country’s wealth being stolen by Politicians with little resistance from citizens – a situation which he said must not be allowed to continue.

ExxonMobil Guyana pumps $3.6M into New Era Futsal tournament: Kaieteur News

– Tournament kicks off on October 21

New Era Entertainment yesterday announced ExxonMobil Guyana as the title sponsor for their annual Futsal Tournament, following the handing over $3.6M from the global oil and gas corporation. This year’s tournament is set for October 21, 22, 28, and 29, and finals on November 5, at the Retrieve Hard Court in Linden. The New Era/ ExxonMobil futsal tournament will feature 16 teams, with Hard Knocks, Team Unknown, Silver Bullets, Swag and Aroaima already confirming their participation for a chance to cash in on the tournament’s winner’s purse of $400,000.

To renegotiate or not to renegotiate: Kaieteur News (Columnist) The GHK Lall Column by GHK Lall

I am all for renegotiation.  From the inception I had made my position clear: the contract is not liked, and that was before the punishing terms and conditions of the 2016 oil contract became a part of the public conversation.  Increasingly, the Guyanese public has great anxieties of the some of the more alarming and bizarre items in the contract, such as taxes, environmental exposure, and ring-fencing.  More and more it has become apparent that the 2016 contract is a vise around the necks of Guyanese, while all of us have a gag stuffed in our mouths. 

“Our welfare is more important than profits from oil and gas” – picketers to EPA: Kaieteur News

A group of public-spirited citizens on Friday joined forces to picket the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA’s), Ganges Street, Georgetown Head Office after the body, which is mandated by law to protect the environment and its inhabitants, failed to respond to a letter which embodied the concerns of over 50 persons. The letter, dated August 29, 2022 was addressed to both the EPA and the Environmental Assessment Board (EAB).

Gas-to-Shore project: Upgrades to GPL grid to be completed by 2024 – Project Manager: Guyana Times 

…in time for completion of pipeline, 1st phase of NGL plant

Upgrades to the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) grid that will be necessary for energy from the gas-to-shore project to be integrated into the Demerara Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS), will be completed by 2024. This was according to ExxonMobil’s Gas to Shore Manager Friedrich Krispin, when he delivered remarks during the recently concluded Guyana Basin Summit (GBS) that was held at the Pegasus Hotel.

Gov’t invites proposals for oil refinery at Crab island: Stabroek News 

-wants construction to start in first half of 2023

Leave a Reply