As Guyana welcomes a new era for its petroleum sector, the Ministry of Natural Resources has underscored the substantial benefits that lie ahead with the successful passage of the Petroleum Activities Bill. While the ministry indeed welcomed this milestone in a statement released on Thursday, its focus remains on the opportunities and advancements this legislation promises to bring to the nation.

Replacing the antiquated Petroleum Exploration and Production Act of 1986, it said that the Petroleum Activities Bill has emerged as a beacon of progress for Guyana’s petroleum landscape. Further, the ministry noted its commitment to prudent and forward-looking management of the country’s petroleum resources as it said this is evident in the comprehensive provisions of this modern legislation.

At the forefront of the bill’s transformative potential is the groundbreaking concept of cross-border unitization. This visionary measure empowers the Minister of Petroleum, in consultation with the Cabinet, to engage in collaborative discussions with neighbouring states. The aim is to ensure the optimal development of shared petroleum reservoirs, fostering both efficient resource management and diplomatic cooperation.

The ministry’s foresight in addressing environmental concerns is another highlight of the Act it said. Licensees are now enabled to apply for geological storage licenses for carbon dioxide, underscoring a commitment to sustainable energy practices and climate change mitigation. This strategic inclusion positions Guyana as a responsible player in global efforts to combat environmental challenges, according to the ministry.

Transparency and accountability, cornerstones of good governance, feature prominently in the new legislation also. It noted measures that prevent government officials, members of parliament, and their families are prohibited from acquiring or holding any stake in a petroleum license granted adding that such step eliminates potential conflicts of interest, nurturing an equitable and competitive environment for all stakeholders.

Looking ahead, it said that the synergy between the new legislation and the 2022 Guyana Licensing Round is set to elevate the country’s prominence on the global petroleum stage. With 14 oil blocks available for competitive auction, Guyana’s emergence as a significant player in the international arena is reinforced. Model production sharing agreements (PSAs) accompanying the round balance government revenue and contractor interests, fostering a climate of fairness while maintaining Guyana’s competitive edge.


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