Dec 10, 2019 News Comments Off on GRA Officers to undergo training in Canada to detect oil metering tricks
The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) will be taking several measures to ensure its officers receive oil metering training to ensure the nation does not suffer significant revenue leakage from the Stabroek Block operations.
GRA Commissioner General, Godfrey Statia, recently told Kaieteur News that come January 2020, some members of his staff will be going to Newfoundland, Canada to have hands on experience when it comes to oil metering. The tax chief said that this is being facilitated by the High Commissioner of Canada.
Further to this, the GRA Boss said that the authority has engaged the help of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) along with other partners to create an Oil and Gas Unit of which a Customs Petroleum Unit will be part of and tasked with addressing oil lifting issues, among other matters.
He said, “We are also engaged in the processes of work attachments, table top exercises with the oil majors, and training in measurement of oil and gas.”
The tax chief said that this also serves to augment its institutional fundamentals along with other training exercises.
When the said officers are trained, Statia told Kaieteur News that it will allow for the authority to have a permanent presence on the Liza Destiny, the country’s first Floating Production Storage and Operating (FPSO) vessel, to ensure the accurate measurements of oil that will be extracted and sold from the Stabroek Block.
Statia further stated that the corroboration of information by a third party independent surveyor will provide yet another source of determination of accuracy of meter readings.
The GRA Commissioner General was also keen to note that the monitoring and calibration of the meters is the designated function of the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) while the retention of the readings based on a custody transfer ticket and Bill of Ladingn will be that of the revenue authority.
Statia also disclosed that a fibre optic cable is being laid to pave the way for the technology that would be needed to support oil metering. He said that the Guyana Telephone Company (GTT) which is 80 percent owned by the USA’s ATN International, is part of the process.
NEED FOR TECHNOLOGY
The International Monetary Fund has since impressed upon the government, the need to incorporate the latest technology that would allow for accurate meter reading on a remote basis.
The IMF said that if Guyana makes use of the latest technology, accurate meter reading of the oil can be conveyed to the Guyana Revenue Authority’s – Customs Department, therefore eliminating the need for a permanent or regular presence of customs officers during the oil lifting operations.
While the use of the latest technology will bring immense benefits, the IMF stressed that GRA’s Customs Department should not relinquish its right to make visits to the Liza Destiny , Guyana’s first Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel.
In fact, the international agency said that customs officers should visit the FPSO from time to time to ensure that agreed procedures are being adhered to by ExxonMobil as well as to assert Guyana’s sovereignty over FPSO operations.
The IMF reminded that the FPSO is a significant component of the Liza Phase One development which involves four undersea drill centers with 17 production wells. It has a production capacity up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day and an overall storage volume of 1.6 million barrels.
Kaieteur News understands that the FPSO will be connected to the wells via separate production (oil, gas, and produced water), gas injection, and water injection flow lines and risers, and associated subsea equipment.
The Project will also involve shore base facilities and marine/aviation services to support development drilling, FPSO and subsea equipment installation, production operations, and ultimately decommissioning.
ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) says it will utilise proven and industry accepted standards and has incorporated many embedded controls into the overall Project design to minimise environmental and socioeconomic impacts.
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