It’s two years away from ‘showtime’ and Guyana is now preparing to develop an oil response plan.
Recently, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman indicated that the process will soon begin. He said this as he addressed the National Assembly during the debates for Budget 2018.
Addressing the House Speaker Dr. Barton Scotland, Trotman said that his Ministry “will actively be involved in the drafting of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan, although the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) will be leading the process.”
Trotman indicated that activities will range from stakeholder engagement, to risk assessment and the construction of an oil spill response storage and training facility.
In addition to this, the Minister said that there will be the creation of a communications system with ongoing survey vessels, drilling rigs and production facilities as a first alert system. Trotman said that by developing the National Contingency Plan, the nation will benefit from a structured response system with a clear communication and action plan in the event of a spill.
Also, he told the House that the Oil Boom Equipment that has been procured under the Department in 2017 will ensure Guyana is fully prepared and trained for an oil spill event.
Further, Trotman went on to inform the Speaker of the House that the Government of Guyana intends to establish an Onshore Oil and Gas facility in the country, as it seeks to fully optimise opportunities in the petroleum sector.
Trotman said that the government has reviewed several locations for the establishment of the facility in collaboration with the private sector for a public/private partnership agreement. He said that Crab Island – Berbice, was deemed a suitable location for the logistical base.
The Natural Resources Minister said that “the Government of Guyana, with support from our many partners, seeks to build the capacity of its policy makers, officers, technicians, private sector professionals and all stakeholders on the issues and challenges surrounding the emerging oil sector”.
He added, “The scholarship needs that the Ministry has identified are in the areas of Petroleum Engineering, Data Management, Petroleum Economics, Risk Management and Reservoir Engineering. For both the Department and the Commission, the Ministry intends to capitalise on short, medium and long-term training programmes.”
Trotman also said that the Government recognises the need for a highly skilled workforce in this sector and as such, “we are investing in building this capacity. Mr. Speaker, we have already begun this process in working with the Oil Companies and the Mexican Embassy on accessing scholarship opportunities.
Meanwhile, we are building our capacity within the Ministry, as technical officers are given the opportunity to attend capacity building workshops, seminars, mentoring exchanges and conferences, etc.”
Trotman told the House that in 2018, the Ministry of Natural Resources will focus on the creation of promotional and educational material to provide current and relevant information on Guyana’s basins, local content development and investment opportunities. He said that this will see the development of brochures and website content. Trotman said that his Ministry aims to participate in many international conferences to promote Guyana’s emerging petroleum sector.
“Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to report that Guyana will be hosting its first Oil & Gas Exhibition in the first quarter of 2018, where we will have an opportunity to showcase our potential and attract international companies for future investment opportunities.”
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