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Guyana's Government Ministers have no place determining technical issues on oil



By Kaieter News

Petroleumworld 02 05 2018

The discovery of oil must change Government's approach to the sector; techical experts must be sought to provide the necessary guidance.

This is the view of Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, who outlined that the People's Progressive Party (PPP) believes strongly that Guyana would be best served if the Coalition Government relies more on the advice of experts.

“Ministers have no place in determining these technical issues associated with the oil and gas, and even the environmental issues,” Jagdeo stated.

The Coalition Government continues to receive heavy criticisms for the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) signed with ExxonMobil in 2016. Those who oppose the contract are of the view that Guyana was shortchanged and that ExxonMobil benefitted over and beyond what generally obtains in the oil and gas industry in other countries.

Jagdeo expressed the view that the PPP has provided Government the concepts for legislation on local content and the Sovereign Wealth Fund, which is still being drafted.

“We want separation of politicians from the management of the fund. We want clear legislation that directs the use of the fund and what conditions trigger the use of the funds. Those must be placed in the legislation and then there must be an independent assessment that those conditions have been met and a report coming to Parliament, and only then should we access money from the fund,” Jagdeo noted.

As it relates to the Petroleum Act, the PPP is of the view that the governance structure should be purely comprised of a technical group.

We have been saying it's high time that the government establishes this architecture. They promised to have it done; there is reluctance. We said we want a bipartisan approach to the matter, but this Government has defied all of that. Not just political exclusion, but exclusion of the entire society,” Jagdeo noted.

In early January, both the Government and ExxonMobil disclosed that more than 230 feet of a high-quality oil reservoir was discovered during a drill at the Ranger-1 well.

It was the sixth discovery in Guyana since 2015. The discovery pushes the estimated amount of oil past the 3.2B barrels found so far in the Stabroek concessions.

This latest discovery is also being hailed as the largest single find to date and adds to the quantities which have been confirmed in the five previous finds.

Story from Kaieter News 02 05 2018

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