Though Guyana may be eight years into the oil industry, Chairman of CGX (Guyana) Energy, Professor Suresh Narine recently posited that the country still lacks the skilled personnel needed to fully support the country’s local content goals. Also lacking he noted is easier access to financing streams.
The foregoing constraints are were highlighted by the CGX Head during a roundtable discussion on opportunities for Ghana’s oil & gas service companies and how they can add value to developing local content in Guyana’s petroleum industry.
The discussion was part of an event hosted by the Ghana Petroleum Commission in partnership with the Ghana Chamber of Commerce Guyana (GCCG) and ALA Strategic Consult Ltd.
Professor Narine first highlighted the work of his company in Guyana’s petroleum industry and even some of the challenges faced since coming into operation. He explained that CGX is a Canadian oil and gas exploration company that holds an interest in the Corentyne block in the Guyana Basin; a proven petroleum basin. He said too that since 1997, CGX has been an active explorer both onshore and offshore Guyana and now has two discoveries under its belt.
The CGX Head said that he believes that Guyana’s Local Content Law at the current stage cannot realize its full potential without the right partnerships.
“We are a very, very fresh country on the petroleum scene,” Professor Narine said. To this end, he highlighted that in many cases, Guyana lacks skilled personnel for the industry as well as adequate financing. As such, he charged interested Ghanaian investors who are looking for opportunities in Guyana’s oil and gas industry to partner with local companies.
Moreover, Professor Narine underscored that while Guyana needs technical and experienced persons to work in the petroleum industry; he noted that there is a requirement and guide for a certain level of ownership for partnerships to be formed with foreigners and locals. This is outlined in the Local Content Act.
He said, “You will find in some cases, very enthusiastic local players who do need help on the skill set side but also require the right kinds of financing that will allow them to own 50% or 51% of your joint ventures.”
Narine added, “So your entrance into the country is not only your know-how and your cultural attunement, it is also your ability to bring creative financing and if creative financing can be part of the package, you will find that with local content, joint venture opportunities will abound. So that’s an important aspect of this.”