– Trotman tells Parliamentary Committee
To ensure that Guyana receives its fair share of oil found in the Stabroek Block, the government will be employing the use of special meters as part of its entire programme to ensure Guyana is not shortchanged by the oil giant, ExxonMobil.
This was made known yesterday to the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources by Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, when he was quizzed on the issue by Parliamentarian and Committee Member, Jermaine Figueira.
The MP asked Trotman whether, based on the estimated oil find of 800 million to 1.4 billion barrels of oil, government has a system in place to verify the total amount of oil claimed to be found below Guyana’s seabed.
Figueira asked, “This data, is it a reflection of ExxonMobil’s data or has government taken steps to do its own independent investigation to ascertain if this is the actual find that is being proposed by ExxonMobil?”
According to Trotman, the verification of the amount of oil is something which his government is moving independently towards.
Trotman said, “Rest assured, that the level of excitement and the level of interest that this project has generated all over the world tells us that it is no ordinary find. It is being named in the industry as one of the best finds in the last two to three decades in any part of the world.”
Moreover, Trotman said that at the time of production, one of the things which the government will have to do is install its own meters, gauges and pumps, so that Guyana can independently verify the quantity of oil being extracted. He said that it will be almost akin to what is done when persons purchase gasoline from the service station.
“There is going to be real time monitoring both onshore and on the vessel on a 24-hour basis to ensure that the production is as they (ExxonMobil) said it would be.”
He said that the issue is one which government has been considering addressing by implementing several means of corroborating and cross-referencing the information. He admitted that government has been told one figure and it may be far more or even less. However, he said that he believes that persons would want to underestimate so as to manage expectations.
In addition, he said that government has retained the services of independent sources such as consultants and contractors to report to the state what exactly is below the Stabroek Block.
Further, he said, “One indicator of course is that the vessel that is being retrofitted, the FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) which is being done in Singapore, will tell you the volume of production and size of well.”
The Minister said that currently there is a process whereby the Ministry is going through ExxonMobil’s application for a production licence. Trotman explained that during this process, the verification of oil quantity is one of the issues which will have to be rectified before the licence is granted.
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