Mar 03, 2017 News
– Local companies benefit from US$150M of amount
ExxonMobil and its partners have thus far expended US$800M on oil and gas exploration activities being conducted in the Stabroek Block, 120 miles offshore Guyana. Of this sum, US$150M has been spent with companies
registered in Guyana for goods and services.
This disclosure was made yesterday by ExxonMobil Country Manager Jeff Simons during a media breakfast session organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources at the Herdmanston Lodge, Georgetown.
Simons said, “To give you a sense of what we’ve done to date, we’ve spent about US$800M so far on the project, that’s from inception, that’s from the start of the Stabroek Block…and about a US$150M has gone to Guyanese companies.” He added that a total of 177 Guyanese companies would have benefitted from the expenditure.
Speaking further on ways in which Guyanese have benefited to date on the project, Simons said that roughly 700 persons have been employed – those who can say that they are working on the project. He added that Guyanese represent half of the estimated number.
He said that some of the goods and services which have been utilised by the project from local companies include shore-based fuel supplies, transportation, hotel accommodation, aviation and waste management.
According to Simons, since beginning exploration, a number of companies have come into Guyana and have registered here as Guyanese entities.
The country manager also said that when the time comes for the specialised ships to be brought to Guyana, a number of contracts will be tendered for the installation of manifolds and surf equipment which will see about 650 persons working on each ship.
Further, he said that actual drilling activity would require about 250 employees. He said that to facilitate this process there will be a huge emphasis on local training, whereby experts would be brought into the country on the drilling vessels.
As it relates to the actual production operations for phase one, Simons said that about 200 people will be needed to work on the project.
According to him, in the long run, the company is looking to have Guyanese fill about 80 to 90 per cent of the workforce needed for the production operation. However, he said that in the initial stages, foreigners will be in Guyana to provide the necessary training to locals.
“So what we’re doing right now to get ready for this is, we’ve performed an initial capacity assessment, looking at all the goods and services that will be required for these activities; at least at a high level – to take a look at what is currently in Guyana and at what needs to be beefed up in Guyana, and what is in Trinidad, which is where we are getting a lot of these items from and the expertise.”
As it relates to reaching out to other countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, when the question was posed as to where the oil will be refined, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman said that no decision has been made concerning the matter.
He reminded that recently Cabinet had approved a Consultancy on the issue so that government may be guided. Trotman said that some experts have said that a refinery should be built here which would cost above $2B.
However, he pointed to overtures made recently by the government of Trinidad and Tobago, whereby the government of Guyana was told that the twin-island state is currently operating below its refining capacity of 175,000 barrels per day.
The Minister said that as a result, Trinidad is currently importing oil from Nigeria and elsewhere, mixing it with Trinidadian oil, refining the product and exporting.
Trotman believes that soon a similar offer would be formally made to Guyana.
“Ministers were informed on Tuesday that Suriname has also indicated a willingness to do refining for Guyana. Why? Because they too have a refinery which is performing under par; which raises the question, should Guyana spend $2B on a refinery and in about 20 years, assuming that the only oil that we have is from the Liza, in about 20 to 25 years we’ll have to be looking elsewhere to do some refining.”
Based on this line of reasoning, Trotman said that the economics of the matter is still being worked out. He said that Exxon may wish to do some of its own refining, but the government of Guyana under the agreement can also determine whether it wishes to receive its portion in oil, and as such, can decide where that amount would be refined.
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