Jan 03, 2021 News
– IDB Country Manager
By Kiana Wilburg
Kaieteur News – Considering ExxonMobil’s plan to have five oil projects working concurrently in the Stabroek Block by 2026, it is clear that Guyana needs to increase the pace at which it is strengthening its governance framework for the sector.
In light of this, Country Manager for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Sophie Makonnen, has said that the country cannot take another five years to get its act together.
During an exclusive interview with this newspaper, Makonnen said, “…I know that people are worried and I understand. I understand how the world works and why they are worried. But there has been, maybe not enough work done. I think that the next two or three years are critical. The pace to prepare has to speed up. It cannot be what it has been in the last one to five years. It had to speed up.”
Asked to say why she highlighted the next two to three years as critical, Makonnen posited: “I am just looking at the cycle of when the other oil fields are coming in, cycles of development, political cycles and all of that. So I am saying that it cannot take 10 years to get ready. You can’t…It took a long time to get Guyana where it is in terms of what has been done and there’s still a lot to do. So you cannot take another five years to continue.”
Even as she said that much more needs to be done, the IDB official said this should not be interpreted to mean that there is no movement towards this end.
Makonnen reminded that the PPP/C administration has only been in power for a few months.
She added that she is aware that there is an oil and gas working group, where things are probably happening. But the difference between today and a few years ago, she said, is that there are key documents which the financial institution helped produced that are at the PPP/C’s disposal.
“…They don’t have to be in agreement with everything that was produced. But it’s something to start working with. It’s not a blank sheet of paper,” the IDB Country Manager stressed.
The Inter-American Development Bank has been one of Guyana’s key partners in developing its capacity to manage the oil sector. Towards this end, it has given Guyana several loans, one of which included: GY-T1167: Strengthening the Technical Functions of the Department of Energy. This was approved on December 17, 2019 and totaled US$ 606,062. The objective of this project is to provide immediate support to operationalize protocols for management and compliance monitoring of the Stabroek Block Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) through improvements in general monitoring and enforcement standards during administration procedures, production control and verification processes.
It is also intended to provide general training and support to key agencies within the oil and gas regulatory framework with specific attention to the use of the contract management systems; and provide a platform for the dissemination of best practices for software solutions for compliance monitoring and for operating requisite internal control systems to maintain data integrity and accuracy in the sector.
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