While Guyana’s efforts thus far to have an effective local content policy and law are commendable, the authorities of the day must ensure that the inherent provisions are realistic and able to evolve with the sector. Making this and other statements recently was Senior Analyst at Americas Market Intelligence, Arthur Deakin.
According to the industry specialist, Guyana needs to have a law and policy which take into consideration how volatile the sector is along with the country’s ability to train it’s people. The absence of this he said, would not bode well for success.
Deakin said, “In some countries, like Brazil, we’ve seen in the past that the original local content rules for its pre-salt oil production had disproportionate fines for non-compliance and even bottlenecks that hurt the construction of floating production storage and offloading (FPSOs) vessels.”
He added, “So, if you don’t have local content that can adjust to the development of the sector, that you know, is sort of stuck in the past, that’s going to hinder the growth at the appropriate speed of the sector.”
As it stands, Deakin said the harsh reality that faces Guyana is that it does not even have the volume to address the needs of one FPSO. “What Guyana still needs is proper training for its citizens, and it needs more resources invested in educating its citizens regarding the oil sector, so I think it’s more of a gradual transition that’s necessary there.”
In addition to his foregoing points, Deakin was keen to note that the authorities of the day should give serious thought on setting targets to be achieved by oil companies.
Guyana Standard would have reported last year that President Irfaan Ali had appointed six individuals to a local content panel with the sole aim of producing an exposition on the best provisions for the country’s policy.
The members of the panel included Trinidadian energy strategist, Anthony Paul; former T&T Energy Minister, Kevin Ramnarine; former Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge; former President of the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA), Shyam Nokta; US-based Chartered Accountant, Floyd Haynes; and trade unionist, Carvil Duncan.
The panel has since handed over its report to the government which remains under review. Once this exercise has been completed, the report would be laid in the National Assembly for dissemination and subsequent debate.