Almost a year and a half ago, the Government of Guyana received a crucial report, which identified the weaknesses of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) in being able to properly monitor the oil and gas sector.
The Rapid Analysis of the State of Readiness of Guyana’s Hydrocarbon Regulatory Framework, which was prepared by Energy and Local Content Expert, Anthony Paul, states that at GGMC, there is lack of human resources and even technical equipment that would be needed to properly regulate the sector.
In fact, the report, which was facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) highlights that GGMC has only very few technical personnel trained in oil and gas, with limited experience. It notes that while the Commissioner General, Newel Dennison has been leading the promotion and management of licences in Guyana, he is constrained by also having to carry a very significant mining portfolio.
The report says, “The Senior Petroleum geoscientist has several years’ experience in the Commission, but the remaining three technical people (one petroleum geologist, one petroleum engineer and one petroleum economist), are quite junior. GGMC also has three geologists in other departments who have studied petroleum geoscience, but are part of the Geological Survey function of the GGMC.”
Further to this, the report notes that while the Ministry of Natural Resources is actively training its staff, including lawyers, economists, analysts and communications professionals for a Department of Energy, Guyana’s current capacity to manage the oil and gas sector is limited to the GGMC personnel. It stressed that this is a far cry from the required competencies needed for the oil and gas sector.
The report also notes that GGMC’s Petroleum Unit is mostly administrative in function, lacking technical equipment and practical experience to deal with oil and gas operations.
Last night, GGMC Commissioner General, Newell Dennison acknowledged that indeed the entity, which has traditionally monitored oil and gas issues is deficient in the areas identified in the report. He noted that the state of affairs remains the same. He said that the entity had nine personnel for its oil and gas needs for the longest while and that figure has not increased to date.
Dennison also revealed that there are some rudimentary equipment at the entity to monitor the sector but there is definitely a need for the current set to be boosted. (KIANA WILBURG)
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