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Guyana ‘unlock' over $10B in projects

Guyana Chronicle

– shore-base expansions, other oil service facilities on the cards

By Navendra Seoraj / the Guyana Chronicle

Petroleumworld 11 09 2020

IN just three months, the Government has managed to “open the gate” for more than US$50 million (over G$10 billion) in private investments by simply granting permits to developers, who, in some cases, have been waiting for more than two years for permission to start their operations.

As evidenced by the new Government's approach, this could have been a simple process, but it was delayed by the former A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Government, said Vice-President Bharrat Jagdeo during a press briefing at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Friday.

“We have had to work aggressively with Lands and Surveys [Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission] and the City Council to issue the permits to many companies, locally-owned or significantly locally-owned, who are supplying services to the oil-and- gas sector.

“Some have been waiting and languishing for two-and-a-half years to get a simple building permit, because some minister wanted to get their hands on something; and that is what was stalling a lot of projects,” Mr. Jagdeo said.

With Guyana fast becoming the new investment capital of the region, Government saw it fit to work aggressively to rectify this issue, so that more investors would be encouraged to enter the economy.

The companies which were granted approval are interested mainly in expanding or constructing shore bases or other oil-service facilities around or on the outskirts of the City.
It was reported recently that Guyana, a fledgling petroleum state, is fast becoming a magnet for major investors in the oil-and- gas sector, attracting even some Fortune 500 companies which have started to ‘migrate' here from Brazil, and Trinidad and Tobago.

With a projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 26.2 per cent for 2020, Guyana, being one of the only countries in this hemisphere that is expected to see positive growth, is seen as the ideal investment destination.

It was already reported that the Government of Guyana is actively encouraging Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and offering tax concessions for priority projects through its Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest).

“Already, a lot of current foreign direct investors are expanding their services to Guyana; they are even moving their headquarters to this country… These are being moved from Trinidad and Tobago, and even Brazil, to Guyana,” said Go-Invest's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop during a recent interview with the Guyana Chronicle.

Most of these companies are focused on offering oilfield support services to the offshore operations in the oil-and-gas sector.

Oil-and-gas services are considered to be a supportive part for the oil exploration and production companies. They are services that include oil well maintenance, completion, production, supply, and logistical support services in both onshore and offshore activities.

These services will be offered directly to ExxonMobil, the company operating in the Stabroek, Canje and Kaieteur Blocks offshore Guyana.

Some 18 discoveries have so far been made in the Stabroek Block since 2015, but just three projects have so far been sanctioned: Liza One, Two and Payara. The operator, ExxonMobil, expects this to ramp up to around five by 2026, generating more than 750,000 barrels of oil per day. Since 2015, ExxonMobil has increased its estimated recoverable resource base in Guyana to more than nine billion oil-equivalent barrels.

Among some of the companies already servicing ExxonMobil's operations are Schlumberger and Halliburton, both Fortune 500 companies.

And, even in the absence of a comprehensive policy, it has been reported that Guyanese businesses have been contributing to the oil-and-gas supply chain, which includes services such as transportation, and even professional ones ranging from lawyers, accountants and even auditors.

It has also been reported that ExxonMobil and its prime contractors have spent over $300 million with more than 700 local companies since 2015.

Also, more than 2,500 Guyanese companies are registered with the Centre for Local Business Development, which was founded by ExxonMobil and its partners in 2017, to build the capacity of local businesses to support global competitiveness.

Story by Navendra Seoraj from the Guyana Chronicle 11 07 2020


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