Industry stakeholders are of the firm conviction that Guyana has, and must, move forward with a new local content law to ensure widespread participation of the Guyanese people in the development of the petroleum sector. But Arthur Deakin, an Analyst attached to Americas Market Intelligence (AMI), cautioned that a law that is too extreme, whether in the local community onus or the foreign company side, could inhibit development.
In his most recent writings, Deakin was keen to note that the Stabroek consortium, led by ExxonMobil, invested U$67 million in local content in the first half of 2020 and has already provided 100,000 hours of training to Guyanese staff. He said that the new local content law should continue to drive this type of inclusive participation of the local community, while allowing for foreign businesses to competitively operate in Guyana.
At this point, Deakin said that the Irfaan Ali administration is off to a good start as it has signaled intentions to strengthen the current policy and have it supported by legislation. He recalled that the government announced in August last that PNC/R’s Carl Greenidge; Trinidadian Expert, Anthony Paul; Businessman, Shyam Nokta; Certified Fraud Examiner, Floyd Haynes; former Chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC) Carvil Duncan, and TT’s former Energy Minister, Kevin Ramnarine, have been appointed to serve on Guyana’s Local Content Panel, which is expected to conduct expansive consultation as well as review and devise recommendations that will inform the country’s Local Content Policy.
While all of this is well and good, “only time will tell if it is able to keep going in the right direction,” Deakin concluded.