Kaieteur News – The Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo, scheduled to be held at the Marriott Hotel from February 19-22, is poised to play a crucial role in promoting strategic partnerships between local and international businesses while also fostering economic development, organisers have said.

Themed “Fuelling transformation and modernisation,” this event is rapidly emerging as a leading conference in the hemisphere, while emphasising the significance of local participation in the oil sector. Specifically making these points yesterday was Natural Resources Minister, Vickram Bharrat.

He was part of a press briefing at the Marriott Hotel which shared updates on preparations thus far for the event. Bharrat highlighted the government’s support, noting that it aligns with its vision for local leadership in the nation’s oil sector development. “…Since taking office in August 2020, we have emphasized the need to create more opportunities for Guyanese and their businesses. As a new oil-producing country, we took a significant step towards enacting Local Content legislation. This move is substantial, considering that many countries, some with decades or even centuries of production experience, are still at the policy stage without concrete legislation,” the minister said.

With the establishment of Guyana’s Local Content Secretariat, Bharrat noted that the country has successfully retained millions of dollars locally. Reports from contractors and licensees to the Secretariat show that there were 3,938 local hires since January 2022 with 785 in the first six months of 2023 alone. The hires span various roles, including 824 as plant and machine operators, 1,203 professionals, and 485 technicians, totaling over 6,000 Guyanese employed in the sector. Furthermore, annual plans from these groups amount to an estimated US$721 million in procurement of goods and services and training for 2023, surpassing the previous year’s US$700 million.

“The implementation of the Local Content Law has allowed us to foster numerous joint ventures and partnerships and…the Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo will build on this,” Minister Bharrat added. Guyana’s Chief Investment Officer at the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop emphasized the conference’s role in showcasing partnership opportunities in the oil and non-oil sectors. “From the theme of the conference alone and given its expanded focus of a supply chain expo, it is clear that we are a regional powerhouse with much to offer,” he said, pointing out Guyana’s use of oil resources to propel growth in agriculture and manufacturing.

Head of the Private Sector Commission, Komal Singh, also underlined the importance of developing a robust logistics hub to support the oil sector, particularly the gas-to-energy project when it comes on stream in 2025. As for CEO of the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo, Kurt Baboolall, he announced the participation of 30 sponsors, including major industry players like ExxonMobil and Hess. He also noted that there are 200 exhibitors registered thus far, with 21 countries expected to be represented at the event.

The conference will also feature over 66 distinguished speakers, including world leaders such as Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani; Suriname’s President, Chandrikapersad Santokhi; Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Keith Rowley; and The Bahamas’ Prime Minister, Phillip Davis. Guyana will be represented by President Dr. Irfaan Ali, Vice-President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, Minister Vickram Bharrat, Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh, and Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips.

The CEO also highlighted the participation of Pulitzer prize-winning author and energy expert, Daniel Yergin.

Importantly, the conference will include panel discussions on various topics such as “Shaping the Future of Energy: Trends and Challenges,” “Balancing Economic Growth with Environmental Sustainability,” “Building Resilient Supply Chains in the Face of Disruptions,” and “Developing a Workforce for the Future.” Another focus will be on “Investing in Guyana: Growing Opportunities.” Updates from the oil and gas sector will be provided by figures like Alistair Routledge of ExxonMobil Guyana, Professor Suresh Narine from CGX Energy Inc, and Clarence Nelson Drake of LINDSAYCA Inc Petronas Staatsolie.

 

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Guyana Says Oil Producers Are Moving Ahead Despite Venezuela’s Threats

Dec 11, 2023

Oil majors operating in Guyana’s waters are “moving ahead aggressively” with production plans despite Venezuela’s threats to take over the region in an escalating border conflict, according to President Irfaan Ali.

Speaking from Georgetown, Ali said Guyana’s troops are prepared to defend the nation’s territory after Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro revived a long-dormant dispute over the Essequibo, a swath roughly the size of Florida where major oil discoveries have been made in recent years. Companies operating there were not intimidated by orders from the Venezuelan leader to leave the region, he added.

“There’s absolutely no slowing down” in production plans, Ali said in a video interview on Monday. “We are on the right side of international law, on the right side of ethics, and on the right side of history.”

Maduro last week told Exxon Mobil Corp. and others to withdraw from the area within three months, leaving Brazil and other Latin American nations on high alert about the possibility of an armed conflict in the region. Exxon leads a joint venture that includes Hess Corp. on Guyana’s Stabroek Block, home to the world’s largest crude discovery of the past decade.

Ali and Maduro are set to meet on Thursday on the island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in a bid to deescalate tension. The dispute intensified in recent years as the massive oil discoveries off the coast of Guyana led the small English-speaking nation to become the world’s fastest-growing economy.

Estimates that Guyana’s economy will grow 25%-30% a year in the medium-term are “very conservative,” said Ali, who is targeting more than 1.2 million barrels of daily production in the coming years.

“We are continuing to ensure that we are in a position with our international partners to defend what is ours,” Ali said. “But make no mistake, our troops are going to ensure the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Guyana is respected.”

Border Dispute

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is reviving a century-old border dispute over Guyana’s Essequibo region

Sources: Guyana Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Venezuela’s National Organisation for Maritime Safety; José R. Gamero Lanz

Venezuelan Politics

The escalating dispute over the Essequibo is largely seen as an attempt by Maduro to rally the population with a nationalistic rhetoric ahead of next year’s presidential elections. The Venezuelan leader is widely expected to run for a third term, despite his low poll ratings and the rise of opponent María Corina Machado’s popularity.

Machado is currently banned from holding office, though Venezuela has outlined a legal path to restore her eligibility, under pressure from the US. In exchange for reaching an agreement with some opposition leaders, the US Treasury eased oil sanctions on Caracas last month, allowing foreign companies including Chevron Corp. to expand operations in the country and increase exports, providing Venezuela with much-needed revenue.

Guyana has insisted that the Essequibo is within its borders. The matter is currently being considered by the International Court of Justice, though Maduro has said he doesn’t recognize its jurisdiction.

Venezuelans Vote on Guyana-Venezuela Essequibo Territory Dispute Referendum
A member of the National Bolivarian Police (PNG) rides past a mural that reads “The Essequibo Is Ours,” during a referendum vote in Caracas, Venezuela, on Sunday, Dec. 3.Photographer: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg

In a press briefing on Monday, Venezuela’s Foreign Affairs Minister Yvan Gil told reporters that Guyana’s oil licenses in the region were “illegal” and Maduro’s government was willing to find formulas for “shared development.”

Lula’s Mediation

The belligerence toward Guyana has put a strain on Maduro’s recently restored relationship with Brazil, by forcing longtime ally President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to mediate the conflict between his northern neighbors. In a phone call Saturday, Lula told Maduro to avoid unilateral measures that could deepen the crisis, according to a statement from Lula’s press office. -=

While Lula had been invited at the request of the two countries, top foreign affairs adviser Celso Amorim will go in his place, according to a government official familiar with the negotiations. The meeting is being organized by the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or CELAC, and the Caribbean Community

Lula’s support has been “unwavering,” said Ali. A good relationship with its northern neighbor is benefiting Brazil as the countries build a deep water port off the Guyanese coast that will allow output from northern Brazil to cut as many as eight days in transportation time to the Atlantic, he said.

“We want the region to know that we will do everything within our power to ensure the region remains peaceful and stable,” Ali said. “We have a responsibility to ensure that we explore every avenue to have Venezuela deescalate this level of aggression and threat, and then for us to move toward a peaceful coexistence.”

Gov’t to soon award contract for marketing Guyana’s oil

Nov 03, 2023

Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo says the government will soon award the contract or contracts for the entity that will be marketing Guyana’s share of the oil produced on the three platforms offshore.

“We received 25 bids, and now they’re having discussions with the top three bidders.

“The key variable here is credibility and price,” the Vice President said.

What the government has been searching for is a service provider who will market its share of the oil from the three floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels offshore Guyana.

Already, the Liza Unity and the Liza Destiny are producing about 380,000 barrels of oil offshore Guyana. Production at the Prosperity FPSO should start soon.

Jagdeo said the government can award the contracts to separate bidders for each vessel or one contractor may get the contract to market oil from all three vessels.

And importantly, he told reporters at a press conference on Thursday that the upcoming award is a good step forward because it shows how the government has been able to secure better benefits for the marketing of the resource.

Previously, Jagdeo said Guyana has to pay a company to market the oil. Eventually, it entered into an arrangement where it did not pay for that service. Now, the government expects to get a premium from the sale of its share of oil.

BP International Limited of the United Kingdom was selected last year to market the oil Guyana is entitled to from the Liza Destiny and Liza Unity FPSOs.

The duration of that contract was for 12 months at a marketing price of US$0.00 per barrel. This procurement process was initiated after the earlier contract with Aramco Trading Limited ended.

Foreign Secretary, Exxon Boss discuss Guyana’s sustainable oil operations, local empowerment at Houston event

May 08, 2024

By Kiana Wilburg

CEO Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo

Guyana’s Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud and President of ExxonMobil Guyana, Alistair Routledge participated in a panel discussion on Tuesday titled, “Bridging Oceans: Guyana’s New Horizon” hosted in collaboration with the Greater Houston Partnership and Guyana Business Journal.

The event was held at the Crystal Ballroom At the Rice Tower in Houston, Texas.

Moderated by Wazim Mowla, Associate Director of the Atlantic Council’s Caribbean Initiative, the roundtable discussion also saw participation from John Cypher, VP of International Investment & Trade, Greater Houston Partnership. Also present were Head of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Kester Hutson and Dr Terrence Blackman, Founder of the Guyana Business Journal.

The Foreign Secretary noted that Guyana has come a far way since the first page was written on its oil and gas story in the 90s.

“But where we are going is an even more exciting story,” said the official, adding that the vision for Guyana’s trajectory is perfectly outlined in the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030.

“Should we hit oil, we have always thought of what model we should emulate…in ensuring that oil is not a curse but a bane of development for traditional industries as well as new ones.

“The activities in the oil sector, and the revenues we make, we intend to use that to create new opportunities while planning beyond its end. And that is captured perfectly in our LCDS …,” the Foreign Secretary said.

During his contribution, ExxonMobil Guyana’s President, Alistair Routledge was keen to note that his company sees the development of Guyana’s hydrocarbon resources as an opportunity to ensure prosperity for all stakeholders involved.

“Since  the discovery of oil in 2015, we have felt a strong connection with the people of Guyana in working towards this goal …and we have US$55 billion in investments for Guyana and have already spent around US$30B,” Routledge said.

The ExxonMobil official also underscored the importance of the company’s commitment to ensuring all Guyanese benefit not just from resource revenue but from opportunities for employment and technology transfer.

He said it was evident in the beginning that Guyana lacked certain capabilities to tackle opportunities in the sector. To overcome those shortcomings, he said Exxon committed to investing in local content to ensure Guyanese are at the forefront of supporting the industry.

“To date, we have had 1,700 local companies supporting the industry and that to me speaks volumes about the entrepreneurial spirit of Guyanese…,” Routledge said. He noted that ExxonMobil remains committed to helping local companies not only thrive but also become globally competitive.

Diaspora support

Foreign Secretary Persaud also noted the invaluable contributions that can be made to Guyana’s development story by members of the diaspora.

He shared that the government is acutely aware of the invaluable expertise and experience that can be tapped in this community, hence there is a more structured approach in engaging remigrants through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Persaud also noted that the government plans to ramp up engagement with the diaspora through job fairs and other initiatives.

“We also have an incentive regime laid out for this too. But I must say, the diaspora has to be proactive too… come back to your country, don’t wait for someone to hold your hand and bring you; have a positive outlook…,” the Guyanese official said.

He concluded, “There is absolutely no reason why any person in the Diaspora should feel like they can’t play a part in the exciting future ahead of us. What is before us is bigger than any of us can conceptualize.”

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