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.”

Guyana making key investments to build world-class environmental regulator – EPA Head

Jun 02, 2024

By Kiana Wilburg, CEO of the Guyana Energy Conference & Supply Chain Expo

With Guyana’s accelerated oil production offshore, the role of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in ensuring the safety of public health while keeping the nation on a low carbon pathway, assumes greater importance. 

 

Head of the EPA, Kemraj Parsram

Executive Director of the EPA, Dr. Kemraj Parsram says he is acutely aware of the need to maintain this delicate balance, hence strategic investments are being made to ensure the EPA becomes a world-class regulator. 

During his inaugural appearance on the Energy Perspectives podcast, a programme powered by the Guyana Energy Conference & Supply Chain Expo, the Executive Director explained how technology is being leveraged to ensure remote monitoring of the oil and gas sector. 

With respect to monitoring water quality, he noted that there are sensors on Guyana’s three FPSOs—Liza Destiny, Liza Unity, and Prosperity.  As part of the operator’s responsibility, he said ExxonMobil and its partners must measure, for example, the concentration of oil in produced water that is being discharged. 

Parsram said too that ExxonMobil is required to treat the water in alignment with World Bank standards before it is discharged. Parsram said these standards outline that there can only be 49 milligrams per day or an average 29 milligrams of oil per litre per month. 

“So, they have these sensors that measure and provide us with that feed. We have a live platform at the EPA where we can see, by the minute, the concentration of oil in produced water,” said the Executive Director. 

He noted that these sensors also allow the regulator to monitor how much gas is flared too. 

“As you know, Guyana prohibits routine flaring…if there is an upset condition and you are testing out a new equipment, you are allowed to flare within a certain limit and if you go beyond, then a flaring fee of US$50 per tonne of every carbon emitted is charged,” he said. 

Furthermore, Parsram said the EPA utilizes NASA’s satellites to monitor any incident of flaring as well as MAXAR technology to have a bird’s eye view of any spill. 

Parsram also noted his interest in leveraging big data analytics and AI as the agency progresses while also ensuring that the staff remains in a continuous training cycle. 

“We have invested in the past year, $40 to $50 million for specific training on oil spill response, rig and FPSO inspection and we are investing to ensure we have the adequate cadre of skills to execute our functions.”

Parsram also shared that his agency has completed a strategic plan covering the next five years, all with the sole intention of laying out a roadmap to become a world class environmental regulator. He believes that is not only achievable but will also position Guyana as an example for other nations to follow. 

Guyana GDP growth rate to be highest in the world

Nov 14, 2022

According to estimates by the WorldBank and International Monetary Fund( IMF), Guyana, one of Latin America’s smallest countries is set to post the world’s highest GDP growth.  For several years, since the production of crude oil begun through Exxon’s Liza development, the country has outpaced global growth averages.

It is projected that at the end of 2023 Guyana’s GDP growth rate will be close to 100% compared with 2021 figures. According to IMF estimates, Guyana will grow 57.8% this year and 25.2% next year, resulting in a GDP increase of around 97.6% in two years. Meanwhile, the World Bank forecasts an increase of 47.9% for 2022 and 34.3% for 2023. This equates to a 98.6% GDP jump over the two-year period.

In comparison the IMF reports the Latin America and Caribbean average is approximately 3.5% in 2022 and 1.7 in 2023.

Bloomberg’s radio show featured an episode titled, “Guyana is the most exciting story in the world oil market”. In the episode, hosts shared the story behind Guyana’s meteoric rise in GDP growth and shared that since 2015 one in every  three barrels of oil discovered has been in Guyana. You can listen to the full episode here.

In the energy industry Guyana continues to be one of the most prolific provinces in the world and the Government in Guyana has consistently reiterated that the people of Guyana must benefit from the hydrocarbon sector. The International Energy Conference and Expo will play part in highlighting these issues. The theme for the conference in 2023 is Harnessing Energy for Development.

Rebranded energy conference emphasises transformation, modernisation

Jan 18, 2024

THE foremost energy conference in Guyana has been rebranded as the ‘Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo’. This year, the conference will prioritise the pursuit of transformation and modernisation.

This is according to Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo, Kurt Baboolall who, in a telephone interview, told the Guyana Chronicle that the goal this year will be to make the expo a family-oriented one set to foster learning.

Giving some background on the rebranding of the conference, Baboolall stated that in Guyana, the income from energy resources is being used to develop all other sectors across the country, and as such, it was important that this be highlighted.

In light of this, he further emphasised that the energy sector is dependent on various other sectors to ensure its efficiency and functionality. Consequently, recognising the interdependence between the energy and other sectors, the team deemed it essential to take action.

However, with this in mind, the theme for this year’s conference is, “Fuelling Transformation and Modernisation.”

“So, we have seen a lot of transformative projects starting in Guyana since we started to lift oil in 2020. So that’s one of the reasons we thought that fuelling transformation would be more aligned with what’s relevant and happening in Guyana right now,” he said.

When asked about plans for this year’s conference, he stated that the goal this year is to make the expo a family-oriented one, as energy is currently the driving force of the country’s economy.

Baboolall told this newspaper that he believes that everyone should be included, and as such, the exhibition will be built to include everyone. It was then that he noted that kids could attend the conference free of cost, once accompanied by an adult.

Added to this, he noted that the conference, which will be hosted at the Guyana Marriott Hotel from February 19th to February 22nd, 2024, will feature a new attraction: an international food court.

This food court will provide patrons with an array of food options from across the world and even indigenous dishes from Guyana.

“Persons coming to the expo, it’s diverse; we have international attendees, we have regional attendees, and we have locals. We want to be able to illustrate culture through cuisine, so that’s going to be our theme for the international food court,” Baboolall expressed.

Further to this, he noted the expo will be built so that attendees can learn about what’s happening in the sector and with players in the energy market.

He added that throughout the days of the conference and expo, those in attendance will learn about energy, the energy players, the supply chain, and even companies that provide support to the energy sector.

“We want people to leave with value in terms of learning, you must come, learn about something, the energy players, learn about where they fit in the sector,” he iterated.

In line with the commitment to education, Baboolall announced that there will be a prominent display at the conference and expo entrance, showcasing the remarkable journey of oil in Guyana.

In the context of the conference, he mentioned that the agenda includes more than 66 speakers, including several heads of state who have already confirmed their attendance.

Among these are the Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani; the President of Suriname, Chandrikapersad Santokhi; the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Keith Rowley; and Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Phillip Davis, among others.

Guyana’s Head of State, President, Dr Irfaan Ali, Vice-President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, and Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips will also be in attendance.

From a global private sector perspective, the CEO added Pulitzer prize-winning author and long-time energy and economic consultant, Daniel Yergin will be in attendance.

Further to this, Baboolall encouraged those who are desirous of attending Guyana’s premier energy conference and expo to register at guyanaenergy.gy

 

Read more here: https://guyanachronicle.com/2024/01/18/rebranded-energy-conference-emphasises-transformation-modernisation/

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