ExxonMobil says local workforce increased by 40% in last year

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ExxonMobil Guyana President Alistair Routledge

Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), a subsidiary of oil giant ExxonMobil, has recorded an almost 40 per cent growth over the past year in the Guyanese workforce supporting the company’s activities offshore Guyana, taking the total workforce close to 3000.

In a statement on Monday, the company noted that despite the COVID-19 challenges there has been continuous growth in the locals employed by Exxon and its prime contractors – a fact reflected in its Half Year 2021 report, recently handed over to the Natural Resources Ministry.

“As of June 2021, 2865 Guyanese were supporting the company’s overall activities, representing 53 per cent of the total workforce. The Guyanese workforce grew by 38 per cent to 2865 at the end of June 2021 from 2070 in June 2020 – and includes 568 women,” Exxon said.

“More than 82,000 hours of training were provided to Guyanese staff working on ExxonMobil Guyana activities, over 85 per cent of which were in Professional, Technical and Craft, and Trade training areas,” it was further explained.

ExxonMobil said that during the first half of 2021, the company and its contractors spent nearly $19 billion with more than 750 Guyanese vendors of goods and services ranging from food to engineering. The economic impact of this expenditure, whether directly or indirectly, amounts to $23.1 billion.

“Since 2015, a total of $96.4 billion has been spent directly with Guyanese suppliers. Outreach to local businesses continued through the Centre for Local Business Development (CLBD) with 141 electronic tender notifications being issued to over 3000 Guyanese companies and mentoring seven Guyanese companies to be compliant in ISO9001,” Exxon said.

ExxonMobil Guyana President Alistair Routledge meanwhile reaffirmed the company’s commitment to collaborating with the Government to support the development of a framework that manages local content in a realistic and sustainable way.

“We are proud to have been able to deliver these local content figures which are a reflection of tangible progress. Further growth is expected and ExxonMobil will continue to work with Guyanese businesses to build local content together,” Routledge said.

With three sanctioned projects in Liza Phase 1, Phase 2 and Payara, and a fourth project, Yellowtail, up for approval, Routledge also spoke about the importance of timely processing and approvals for local content development.

“It is important to identify and invest in successive projects that allow for the expansion of efficient operations to provide sustainable employment opportunities, local business growth and broader economic development across Guyana,” the oil executive also said.

It was previously reported that CLBD, which was established to bridge the gap between local businesses and local content opportunities in the oil and gas sector, had over 2700 Guyanese businesses registered in its database.

The CLBD was set up in 2017 by ExxonMobil, in collaboration with DAI Global, LLC, to assist small and medium-sized local businesses to build their capacity and their ability to compete to offer services in the oil and gas sector and other industries.

When it was set up, the Centre was expected to focus on developing local vendors that serve key sectors of the oil and gas industry, including areas such as safety equipment, marine operations, offshore supply and civil construction. It was also supposed to provide mentoring, coaching, and access to financial support.

In April, it was announced that the Ministry of Natural Resources had concluded a series of strategic engagements with various stakeholders on the revised draft Local Content Policy (LCP) – a policy initiative for Guyanese to play a greater role in the advancement of the petroleum sector.

The revised policy document seeks to put into context the current and evolving state of Guyana’s oil and gas sector, and to enable an improved level of local business participation therein through addition of value, access to opportunities, and capacity building for Guyanese within the energy sector.

After assuming office in August last year, President Dr Irfaan Ali had established a High-Level Local Content Panel to review policy initiatives on local content in the petroleum sector, and provide guidance for the development of Guyana’s Local Content Policy and Legislation.