First draft of Local Content Policy completed; compliance unit to be set up – Dr Bynoe

Director of the Energy Department Dr Mark Bynoe
Director of the Energy Department Dr Mark Bynoe

In light of recent comments by People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali decrying Government’s failure to prioritise the implementation of a Local Content Policy (LCP), Energy Director Dr Mark Bynoe has stated that the first draft of the Policy was completed.

Bynoe added that Government was also working towards establishing a Compliance Unit to monitor data from the sector and ensure that the oil resources are managed prudently.

At a recent press conference on Wednesday, Bynoe further stated that progress has been made to secure Guyana’s resources once the oil industry comes into play. The Unit will ensure that issues of Guyanese are addressed.

He stated that while there has been improvement in reports provided by oil companies, there is still more information to be delivered, especially specific data to determine where these resources are streamed into and the benefactors.

Finance Minister Winston Jordan, at a press conference, had stated that while legislation is important, the Government should not make it “the be-all and end-all”.

He added that many companies that are coming are not waiting for Local Content and other legislation.

In highlighting Jordan’s remarks, Ali said it is unfortunate that such a statement is coming from the Minister as Guyana edges closer to ‘first oil’— as a country that is extremely vulnerable because of the weak legal and regulatory framework.

He pointed out that around the world, a LCP is considered a necessary condition when countries are looking to become oil producers so that they can benefit as much as possible from the industry.

Presently, the Energy Director has positioned that the first draft has been completed. It will be provided to the private sector and other pertinent bodies for perusal.

ExxonMobil affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, is operator of, and holds 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd holds 30 per cent interest, and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited – a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited— holds 25 per cent interest.