“I have been in this industry for more than 35 years and never have I seen a country demand so little from an oil company. I mean, this must be the epitome of ridiculousness!”

Those were the words of Norwegian Energy Expert, Jan Eckhoff during an exclusive interview with the Guyana Standard.

Eckhoff, who has helped more than 23 countries negotiate oil and gas contracts, opined that the country’s local content agenda is not on the right path.

The Energy Consultant said that local content is more than “what you are doing now; calling on the oil operator to hire a handful of your people, sending a few of them on courses and stints here and there, showing them what the tankers and Nobel Bob Douglas FPSO looks like and whatever and using some of the services here when they deem fit.”

He said that there must be input which will have a lasting effect. Eckhoff then referenced several examples to support what he means by a “lasting effect.”

The Energy Consultant said that in Brazil, British Petroleum (BP) was forced to augment the training programmes that it had set up.

He said, “They were instructed to construct a Global Technology Center at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro’s Technology Park.  The center which opened in 2014 not only became a primary research and development facility to support the oil and gas industry but even for high-tech support in other industries.”

Eckhoff added, “Now in 2012, Tullow was made to open an enterprise center in Uganda which is tasked with providing business skills training, mentoring and networking, and information on opportunities within Tullow’s oil and supply chain to local entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized enterprises.”

“This facility is owned and controlled by the Government. Also, in that year, the company was instructed to launch a Scholarship Scheme. It has produced more than 2400 African students with Degrees to service not just oil but a variety of industries…”

Eckhoff noted that there are so many other examples which can prove that Guyana is asking too little of ExxonMobil. He stressed that stakeholders in the industry must urge the administration to do more before it is too late.


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