The Ministry of Natural Resources has revealed a projected US$720M spend by oil companies on local content for the year 2023. According to the Director of the Ministry’s Local Content Secretariat, Dr. Martin Pertab, it would have received four to three annual plans from oil and gas companies, totaling somewhere around US$720 million as projected investment.
This disclosure was made during an end-of-year press conference, where he explained how the value was achieved and noted that there are three basic components that include procurement, employment costs and capacity building. Dr. Pertab said, “So what we have done we have looked at the aggregate amount of projected expenditure related in the 40 carved out sectors identified in the first schedule of the (Local Content) act. So we have taken that plus employment costs and investment and capacity building and that’s where we got the US$720M.”
In addition, the Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat disclosed that approximately 6000 Guyanese are currently supporting the oil and gas sector. He pinpointed a 24 percent surge in Guyanese hires for the year too.
Bharrat also emphasized that these nearly 6000 individuals constitute almost 70 percent of the total workforce in the oil and gas industry. While acknowledging the call for increased local participation, he stressed the ongoing need to enhance technical capacity within the sector.
Minister Bharrat said, “Now some people may say that this is not enough and we should have more Guyanese working in the sector. And I agree with you. We should have more. But the reality is we need to to build capacity.”
Bharrat also highlighted the government’s ongoing discussions with oil companies to provide scholarships for Guyanese citizens, thereby facilitating their industry knowledge development.
Moreover, the minister emphasized a new mandate for oil and gas companies to conduct Request for Information (RFI) sessions. These sessions enhance transparency, communication, and understanding of procedures for local companies, fostering collaboration. Notably companies like Saipem, Noble Drilling, SBM Offshore and Stabroek Block operator, ExxonMobil have been seen hosting these sessions throughout the year.
These sessions feature a dedicated Questions and Answers (Q&A) segment, promoting real-time communication between EMGL and stakeholders. This interactive element allows participants to seek clarification and establishes an engaged RFI community. Companies are required to hold at least two of these sessions (per year).