Govt to use budgeted $200M to rent, equip, furnish building for Petroleum Directorate

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…as moves are afoot to create body in first quarter of 2017- Trotman

The Ministry of Natural Resources is working to have a Petroleum Directorate established and functioning within the first quarter of 2017.

Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman

Natural Resources Minister , Raphael Trotman, told the Government Information Agency (GINA,) that the Directorate follows international models which separate policy development from regulation monitoring.

“Those are very important because we now need to start preparing and using the opportunity (of)2017-2020 when we hope to start producing, to put things in place, as many of the things as possible,” Minister Trotman told GINA.

According to GINA over $200 million has been allocated in the 2017 National Budget for petroleum management. The monies are to be used for the rental of a building to house the Directorate, procurement of equipment and furnishing.

Minister Trotman said he is hopeful that the acquisition of the building will be completed by the end of this month and that staff could be hired. “We expect by the first quarter of this year we would have had persons hired but the intention is not to have everyone in place immediately,” Trotman said.

An initial 14 persons are expected to staff the Directorate including a Director and Deputy Director of Petroleum, Attorneys at Law, an economist, local content and corporate social responsibility officer, and two geoscientists.

Meanwhile, the government is also developing legislation to govern the emerging oil and gas sector. “Legislation is already in circulation for a petroleum regulatory commission,” Trotman said.

The government has also been updating and drafting policies and legislation that will govern the new sector. These include:

  • Oil and Gas Policy
  • Revised Petroleum Act and Regulations
  • Local Content Policy and Regulations
  • Petroleum Commission Bill
  • Petroleum Taxation and Fiscal Legislation
  • Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Regulations and a Bill to provide for Sovereign Wealth/Generational Savings, Stabilization, Infrastructural, Social Welfare and Citizens Participation Fund
The Stena Carron drill ship

Government’s apparent impetus in forging ahead to put mechanisms in place for Guyana’s impending oil and gas industry could be premised on the recently announced positive results from  ExxonMobil’s Payara-1 well offshore Guyana.

Payara is ExxonMobil’s second oil discovery on the Stabroek Block and was drilled in a new reservoir.

The Business Wire reported that the well was drilled by ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, and encountered more than 95 feet (29 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. It was safely drilled to 18,080 feet (5,512 meters) in 6,660 feet (2,030 meters) of water. The Payara field discovery is about 10 miles (16 km) northwest of the 2015 Liza discovery.

In addition to the Payara discovery, appraisal drilling at Liza-3 has identified an additional high quality, deeper reservoir directly below the Liza field, which is estimated to contain between 100-150 million oil equivalent barrels. This additional resource is currently being evaluated for development in conjunction with the world-class Liza discovery.

The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometers). Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is operator and holds 45 percent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30 percent interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25 percent interest.

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