ExxonMobil has no qualms appearing before the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural Resources. In fact, the company is eager to supply the committee with the information it desires, especially on matters relating to local content.
At least that is what has been related to Guyana Standard by ExxonMobil‘s Public and Government Affairs Advisor, Kimberly Brasington.
The most recent meeting of the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on Natural resources was held on Friday last in the Chambers of the National Assembly.
At that forum, Alliance For Change (AFC) Member of Parliament (MP), Audwin Rutherford asked Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman to tell the committee how many local companies are serving ExxonMobil to support its operations offshore Guyana.
Just as Trotman attempted to respond, Chairman of the Committee, Odinga Lumumba said that ExxonMobil is slated to appear before the committee in coming weeks and “they can answer for themselves.”
Nevertheless, Trotman undertook to provide the committee with the requested information.
Earlier today, this publication contacted Brasington who said, “ExxonMobil has met several times with the parliamentary sectoral committee on Natural Resources and we look forward to briefing the committee on the very important topic of local content.”
Further, Brasington revealed that the company provides to the Ministry of Natural Resources, on a quarterly basis, with the local content metrics for the project, including the number and names of all Guyanese suppliers utilized in that quarter.
Brasington told Guyana Standard, “If the sectoral committee isn’t receiving the data from the government directly, we are happy to make the information available to the committee. We fully understand how important this is.”
Over a month ago, Brasington had said that ExxonMobil utilized the services of 309 Guyanese-owned companies and has 605 Guyanese businesses registered in the oil sector.
However, these figures have been questioned by Chairman of the Guyana Oil and Gas Energy Chamber (GOGEC) Manniram Prashad, who has called for verification.
Brasington has also said that 70 local companies are taking courses in order to build capacity in areas like procurement and safety. She had said too that ExxonMobil and its contractors provided 30,000 hours of capacity training to Guyanese last year.
A second draft of Guyana’s Local Content and Value Addition Policy Framework has been completed and recently released to the public.
However, public figures, like former Member of Parliament, Charles Ramson, are of the opinion that Guyana needs much more than a policy for local content. Ramson said that there is need for legislation.