Tullow to push for Guyanese to be employed with company

Managing Director at Tullow Ghana Ltd, Kweku Awotwi

…after Ghana Exec touts job opportunities for countrymen in Guyana

Tullow recently found oil in Guyana, but it was the Managing Director at Tullow Ghana Ltd, Ghanaian Kweku Awotwi, who was quoted touting the job opportunities that would open up for his fellow Ghanaians in Guyana.

The British oil company is, however, affirming that efforts will be made to hire as much Guyanese as possible for its local operations. In an interview with Inews, Tullow’s Head of Communications, George Cazenove, when asked directly about Awotwi’s claims that half of those employed on the Stena Forth drillship that was responsible for the find are Ghanian, he could not confirm that number. However, he referenced the company’s actions in other territories where it has operations.

Tullow Head of Communications, George Cazenove

“As a company, we employ a lot of local people in our key countries of Kenya and Ghana – it’s a critical part of our company-wide commitment to Shared Prosperity – and I am sure we will make as much effort in Guyana,” Cazenove told this online publication.

In an interview with news outlet GhanaWeb that was published on August 16, Awotwi was quoted as saying that the discovery in the South American country meant that there are opportunities for people in the Tullow organisation.

“We already have some of our own Ghanaian Geoscientists that were in London last week, who will be part of that exercise [in Guyana], doing the engineering,” Awotwi said in a video interview with the news outlet.

“So, on the one hand, it’s good for Tullow PLC. But it’s also good for the employees of Tullow and Ghanaians make a big part of Tullow. So, it’s more opportunities for Ghanaians. In fact, half of the people on the rig are Ghanaians,” he also said.

His announcement came at a time when Guyana’s Government is under criticism for its laidback approach to ensuring that a Local Content Policy, which ranges from oil companies hiring locals for its workforce to utilising and partnering with local suppliers, is formalised.

Managing Director at Tullow Ghana Ltd, Kweku Awotwi

Government’s Local Content Policy has been a work in progress for some time, ever since a draft that was released came in for criticism for lacking specificity and concrete measures. Then, Finance Minister Winston Jordan recently came in for criticism when he made comments downplaying the significance of the policy at a press conference held by the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR).

Jordan had pointed out that activities in the oil and gas sector are moving full steam ahead without that critical piece of legislation. Nevertheless, the Finance Minister explained that Director of the Department of Energy, Dr Mark Bynoe has indicated that the local content legislation is all about finished and will be available for public consumption fairly shortly.

Local Private Sector bodies and other stakeholder agencies had expressed dissatisfaction with the slothfulness in which the local content laws are being developed. Calls are constantly being made for the policy to be finalised before first oil in the first quarter of 2020, when United States oil giant, ExxonMobil is slated to commence production in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana

Indeed, a second draft policy has been released. Last week, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) facilitated a discussion on this policy. There, past GCCI President Deodat Indar lamented the fact that foreign companies, particularly those from the Caribbean region, are coming to Guyana and “mopping up” all of the opportunities coming out from the budding oil and gas industry.