Former APNU+AFC Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson revealed yesterday that he will be the Opposition’s shadow minister with responsibility for oil and gas in the National Assembly, during a virtual press conference held by the Alliance for Change (AFC).
Notably absent from the meeting was his fellow AFC executive, Raphael Trotman, the former Minister of Natural Resources who signed the infamously lopsided Stabroek Block Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with ExxonMobil. Trotman had had his oil and gas portfolio taken from him during David Granger’s presidential term.
Patterson brings some degree of know-how to the sector, as he was involved as a Public Infrastructure Minister in talks with the operator on bringing gas from the Liza field to shore for the powering of Guyana’s energy needs.
He said that on oil, however, he will have to quickly come up to speed.
“For sure, I don’t have all the requisite knowledge for such an important industry. So obviously, I’ll have a team I’m working with,” Patterson told reporters yesterday.
He said that the shadow portfolios should be worked out shortly, and the public will find out the others constituting the team.
Kaieteur News pointed out that while formerly in opposition, the AFC had set a precedent of having regular talks with oil companies on various issues. The new opposition, Patterson related, has not met with ExxonMobil or its partners, Hess and CNOOC, yet, as it is now “making rounds” but he acknowledged that there are problems with Exxon’s intended Payara development, among other issues the party is beginning to zero in on.
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