On February 17, 2023, the International Energy Conference Guyana 2023 came to a close. The morning session featured speeches from various representatives, including those from SBM Offshore, ExxonMobil Guyana, Halliburton Caribbean Geo Market, Spherex Analytics, the University of Guyana, and the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Recurring themes of: economic transformation, recruitment and training, and opportunities for youth were introduced to the audience of young professionals and students in attendance. Highlights from the speeches are summarized below.
Bobby Gossai Jr. from the Ministry of Natural Resources discussed the employment of young people in the growing oil and gas industry. He highlighted the gap between current supply and growing demand for qualified skills at a technical level. Mr. Gossai shared some of the efforts being made by institutions in the country to offer training to young people interested in entering the industry. He further emphasized the importance government has placed on investing in people and infrastructure to drive development and improvements.
Continuing the theme of people and infrastructure investment, Joel Bhagwandin from Spherex Analytics explained the concept of ‘brain drain’ and the need to offer more opportunities for educated people in the country to enable local Guyanese to play an active role in how the energy sector evolves.
ExxonMobil Guyana representative Leonard (Ryan) Hoppie talked about the support his organization is offering young people in the country, particularly those in STEM fields and with persons with disabilities. ExxonMobil has also created programs to provide mentorship and internship for young people, opening doors that were previously inaccessible. Hoppie encouraged young people to take advantage of these opportunities to play an active role in the growth transformation in the region.
Grace Hutson from Halliburton, spoke on the role of students in the conversation on energy and shared details about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. She offered guidance to young adults with ambitions to enter the oil and gas sector, emphasizing the importance of being proactive to gain exposure and experience through networking.
Finally, Norwell Hinds analyzed the conference theme “Harnessing Energy for Development” and discussed the various ways the University of Guyana has adapted to cater to the needs of the growing oil and gas sector through courses and research. He highlighted the potential need for roughly 200,000 professionals across various industries in this thriving sector.
Overall, the final session of the International Energy Conference Guyana 2023 helped clarify a path for local involvement that engages and maximizes youth potential in a manner that sees the oil and gas boom directly powered by the next generation.