Nov 27, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – To say that the oil and gas industry is large would be the understatement of the century.
In fact, the size of this industry is so immense, it often leaves room for the majors and super majors in the corporation to abuse loopholes and slack oversight.
To guard against this, compliance and good oversight are needed for the sound governance and monitoring of the oil sector. This is opined by the recently relieved Head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Vincent Adams.
During an interview with Kaieteur Radio’s: ‘Corruption, Governance and Justice,’ Dr. Adams was asked to share his thoughts on the oil industry in Guyana, where it is today and what he believes is needed for sound governance. To this he responded: “Monitoring, compliance and well, good governance.”
During his 30 years of service in the United States’ Department of Energy’s Environmental Management office, Dr. Adams recalled that he came up with the mantra that the government must have better-equipped personnel and all other equipment that is needed.
“You have got to be better equipped, which means that [the regulator] makes sure that it trains their people so that every time you get into a negotiation, you understand the issues better than the company themselves. That was one of my goals.”
It is with aims of achieving this goal that Dr. Adams shared his reasoning for embarking on a programme to ensure that representatives of the government, engineers, scientists and other relevant personnel are two steps ahead of those contractors in the industry.
He adds, however, that this is not the only requirement for the authorities and regulators, but that these bodies must have free access to every single piece of information possessed by the contractor.
“Not only does the oil belong to us,” he says, “they are just extracting it. But all of the data belongs to us as well. Everything they develop belongs to the government as well. I think any law is gonna back you up on that.”
Importantly, Dr. Adams is keen to point out that the country first needs to train and equip their people “more than anything else.”
With tackling this, the former EPA Head indicated that the next challenge would be compensation.
“One of the things that used to happen to us in the US is that you would train the people, get the best and then you would hire them. This means we would have to now compete… You invest in your personnel, but you have got to make sure that the personnel, conditions, salary, whatever is the compensation package, that it is competitive, and that’s the reality.”
This practice, he says, ensures that the agency gets a return in the money it has invested.
Dr. Adams is ready to serve his country
Shortly after being relieved from the EPA, Kaieteur News had asked Dr. Adams whether he would be willing to commit his services to the government in future if asked. To this he indicated that he is enthusiastic to serve the people of Guyana in any voluntary capacity, if any arises.
“Whatever capacity there is for me to serve the Guyanese people, if there’s any such opportunity, then I will surely give my services,” he said to this publication.
There is a new government in place, led by President Irfaan Ali.
The oil and gas sector is rapidly experiencing a growth since oil production started last year.
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