– TT former Minister urges Guyana to get over political impasse, address key issues with haste
Five years after the discovery oil, Guyana is without a modernized legislative and regulatory framework to properly manage the new industry. Taking this into account, Former Minister of Energy for Trinidad and Tobago, Kevin Ramnarine, says Guyana is walking a dangerous line if it does not overcome its electoral issues soon and address such key matters with haste.
During his first appearance on Kaieteur Radio’s show, Guyana’s Oil and You, the business lecturer highlighted that along with the absence of updated laws, Guyana remains without a regulator which would be in the form of a Petroleum Commission. Ramnarine said, “The absence of this framework is a concern because what you have is an industry that is regulating itself and that shouldn’t be. You should have a regulator. Once you have settled down and Guyana has a government in place, fixing the legislative and regulatory puzzle should be priority.”
Ramnarine alluded to the fact that Guyana is practically doing itself an injustice by running an industry devoid of drilling standards and regulations for field development plans.
Without the foregoing, among other key pieces of oil related laws and regulations, Ramnarine said that the companies are setting their own rules while noting that there is great danger when this is allowed. He offered, “…At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself what you want as a country. You want a sector that is well regulated and one that subscribes to the best international standards of safety? Well then, legislation has to be built out for this. You want a sector that encourages adherence to best standards of reservoir management and waste management and health and safety? Again, the legislative framework has to be in place for this.”
Ramnarine said that the authorities of the day need to understand that the nation is already behind the curve and should therefore make every effort to take the necessary steps to protect the new-found wealth.
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