Consultant: Decisions in oil sector must lead to capacity building

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Developing a standardised regulatory framework must go hand in hand with building capacity as Guyana works towards developing its oil and gas sector.

Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman receives the readiness assessment report from Principal Consultant of the Association of Caribbean Energy Specialists, Anthony Paul and UNDP Resident Representative, Mikiko Tanaka

Trotman receives the readiness assessment report from Principal Consultant of the Association of Caribbean Energy Specialists, Anthony Paul and UNDP Resident Representative, Mikiko Tanaka

This is according to an Oil Consultant, Anthony Paul, as he presented to Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman, a  Rapid Analysis of the State of Readiness of Guyana’s Hydrocarbon Regulatory Framework Report, which was facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

At a simple handing-over ceremony at the Ministry’s boardroom, Anthony Paul, Principal Consultant from the Association of Caribbean Energy Specialists out of Trinidad and Tobago told the Minister that decisions made in the sector today must be the foundation of what will be needed in the future.

“My recommendation is that when you engage support to make decisions, make sure that support goes towards building capacity at the same time so that those who will run for the next 20 years will have learned from those who have designed what you are putting in place at the outset,” Paul urged.

Paul, who spent half the year assessing Guyana’s oil sector readiness, explained that the report examined what countries around the world have done, successes, mistakes made and how they can be avoided.

He pointed out that Guyana’s advantage over other oil-producing countries is that it does not have “legacy issues” to overcome. This provides Guyana with “a long-term outlook on development that very few people have taken time to think through”.

“A whole of Government approach” is required for the governing of the sector to where it should go, Paul added. “The approach used can be standardised or can be similar from agency to agency so if you build a common approach and find ways to implement it across the agencies, I think that will help in simplifying how we will go forward.”

Meanwhile, Minister Trotman in accepting the report said he was impressed with Paul’s knowledge and experience.“I believe that it will hopefully point out the gaps where they exist because we never pretended that we were ready to go and so Mr Paul’s job was to identify the gaps and the areas that needed plugging immediately,” Trotman asserted.

The UNDP Resident Representative, Mikiko Tanaka expressed the hope that the recommendations would not only strengthen the Ministry, but other sections of Government and the Private Sector.

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