Experts from Qatar to assist in crafting of gas leak management and other plans for oil and gas sector


Two oil and gas experts from Qatar are expected in Guyana next week to assist the Government with a number of the plans that are being crafted by Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) including the Gas Leak Management Plan.

Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat made the disclosure recently while he was being questioned by Opposition Member of Parliament, David Patterson during the consideration of the National Budget.

According to the Natural Resources Minister, EEPGL, which is a subsidiary of US oil giant ExxonMobil, is currently funding a number of studies.

However, he said those studies are being reviewed by a technical team from the Natural Resources Ministry, and by next week, the Government should be in receipt of the additional support from Qatar.

 “We have managed to, on building our relationship, secure two experts that would be in the country next week. That is, Qatar sending two experts to Guyana to assist us with this very plan that is the Gas Leak Plan, the Gas Utilization Monetization Plan, and Mr Speaker, if I may add, at no cost to us,” Minister Bharrat said.

But MP Patterson questioned Government’s rationale behind having an oil and gas company involved in the funding and execution of the studies, and the crafting of plans to manage the same industry that it is operating in.

“How prudent is such an arrangement”, MP Patterson asked, while enquiring why an independent consultant was not hired to conduct the various studies, and craft the accompanying plans.

In defending the existing arrangement, the Natural Resources Minister told the Committee that it is now a requirement under the new production license for operators to finance various studies. He was keen on pointing out that the Government is still responsible for reviewing all studies and plans. 

“Mr Speaker base on the new production license that we would have signed – Payara, Yellowtail – we have actually built it in the production license, that it becomes a requirement for the operator, but it must be reviewed by the Ministry of Natural Resources, by our technical team. So, it is not accepting what the operator gives to us, it is us reviewing and making our input,” Minister Bharrat explained.

Pressed for greater detail, the Natural Resources Minister said the Waste Water Management Plan, Fishing Stock Depletion Plan and Natural Gas Management Plan are among other plans being designed.

Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat

He said too that a number of other studies have been done by independent consultants, and they are currently under review by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently conducting a stock of Guyana’s fish countrywide.

Meanwhile, $500M has been budgeted under the Natural Resources Ministry to enhance Guyana’s legal and institutional framework to enable better management of the Oil and Gas Sector.

The money will also be used to build the capacity of the Ministries of Natural Resources, Public Works and Finance, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (GEA) and Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), in Oil and Gas. It will finance the formation of an Oil and Gas Data Management System.

The Natural Resources Minister told the Committee that the establishment of an Oil and Gas Data Management System in Guyana would allow the country to rake in even more revenue.

“The disadvantage that we face right now is that our data, our oil and gas data is not stored in Guyana, and the issue with that we can make a lot of revenue by selling that data by having that data in country, and we being the sole agent and responsible for it. Presently, it is being hosted by one or two different companies that have the kind of capacity to hold our data,” the Natural Resources Minister explained.

It was noted that the existing arrangement for the storage of the country’s oil and gas data was in place under the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Administration, however, the country only benefits from 50% of the sale of the data.

“We have maintained the same arrangement; we haven’t changed anything. If I can give you an example, now that we have this bid round that is now public, 14 blocks up for auction, if any company, take for example Exxon, if they need additional data on Guyana, seismic data or any other data, then they have to go to this third party in Houston, and to pay for that data. Of course, 50% will come to us but it is because we don’t have our own data repository in Guyana, that we have to take 50% and not a 100%,” the Natural Resources Minister further explained.

He said as the country’s Oil and Gas Sector develops, there will be an even larger pool of data, and it will be economically beneficial for it to be stored in Guyana.


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