By Abena Rockcliffe-Campbell

The US$50M investment by the Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Company Limited (GTT) into the submarine cable that runs through the country is paying off in more ways than one; the company is raking in huge revenue from its relationship with oil companies operating here in Guyana.

This revelation became known to the media at a lunch time lecture delivered by GTT’s CEO, Justin Nedd, at Moray House today. The lecture was facilitated by the Guyana Press Association (GPA).

At the forum, Nedd said that, despite what is being proffered by some “experts”, Guyana is well on its way to an economic boom. He said that economic activity will spread across all sectors and those who are prepared will benefit significantly. “We are prepared,” said Nedd.

The CEO said too that based on his research and what he learned through dialogue with persons in the industry, the use of data in the oil and gas industry is still at its infancy. Yet it is already significant.

Based on those findings, Nedd said that he estimates that “in the not so distant future, the demand for data, especially in the local oil and gas industry, will be so large that we probably will have to invest another US$50M.”

A sample of the GTT submarine cable as displayed today

Nedd indicated that GTT is already working along with all the major players in the oil industry which, of course, includes ExxonMobil — the main player at this point.

In fact, GTT had long set up an oil and gas unit and employees manning that team have been trained by GTT.

Nedd was asked for a ballpark figure of the revenue that the company would have secured so far from the oil and gas industry. He declined to divulge such information citing competitive reasons.

However, what gave insight to the kind of revenue that is being secured is the fact that Nedd indicated that GTT has been working closely with ExxonMobil. Nedd said that he met with ExxonMobil officials both in Guyana and Houston Texas. He then indicated that GTT also sees the oil industry as a cash cow.

Nedd said, “We are prepared but this is big, big dollar. The scale is beyond anything we have seen in Guyana. I worked in mining — which is a big capital expenditure — for several years but this dwarfs mining.”

Nedd said that he noticed a quarter of Exxon’s earnings is more than US$4B which is more than Guyana’s GDP of US$3.6B.


According to Nedd, the services provided by GTT to the oil companies are not one dimensional.

He said that the simple internet connectivity in the form of blaze is a contribution to the industry. He said that it also serves as an encouraging factor for families who may have to move to Guyana for work. “I was told, ‘thank God you guys have Blaze’,” he related.

But that is not all.

Nedd said all the companies need internet for their operations. He said, “For instance, some come here on a prospecting missions and they say ‘well, we do not need the full thing now but here is x dollars a month, just install it and as we ramp up we will increase’. I have seen that several times.”

Nedd continued, “For the businesses, there is a matter of negotiation; I can say we deal with all the players in providing them the service and it is just a matter of saying this is what you want and this is when you want it… Exxon is very demanding and anyone that deal with Exxon will know how demanding they are but we have a great relationship with Exxon. We are providing the service that they expect.”

But it is more than just internet; Nedd said that the companies need data.

“They need connectivity. So what the cable does is not only internet, you can pass data…they get lots of data from the FPSO [Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel]. They send to Trinidad, they send to Houston, and the cables transport the data.”

Nedd indicated that the data is not always transported over the internet, of course, for privacy concerns.

“The internet is a public network. The cable can also be used as a private network and we have several customers that use the cable as a private transport network separate from the internet.”


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