For ExxonMobil, local content just makes good business sense – Routledge

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President of ExxonMobil Guyana Alistair Routledge during a recent visit to TechnipFMC Guyana’s Service base

President of ExxonMobil Guyana, Alistair Routledge says the company and its prime contractors have been making significant efforts to bolster local content including planning, implementation and monitoring progress years prior to a policy or legislation. He thinks it is paramount that Guyanese continue to benefit from the development of the country’s oil and gas resources.

“For ExxonMobil, local content just makes good business sense,” he said during a recent visit to Saipem’s Offshore Construction Facility where the first subsea jumpers were fabricated in country by a majority Guyanese workforce. The work was subcontracted to Guyanese joint venture, Guyana Oil & Gas Support Services Incorporated (GOGSSI).

Routledge recognizes this as a significant milestone in local content development. “This is a symbol of the progress that is being made in developing the supply chain in Guyana to support the offshore development of Guyana’s natural resources,” he outlined.

Meanwhile, Managing Director of Saipem Guyana Inc., Thuranthiran Nadarajah says the company has developed and is implementing a local content plan as part of its existing contracts with ExxonMobil Guyana. “Saipem’s goal is to have a proper sustainable growth in Guyana. We have completed Liza One, we are in the process of completing Liza 2 and we are working on Payara. In this process, we have also developed our own fabrication facility to be able to bring in the high-end technology for jumper fabrications into Guyana,” he outlined

All of the major international companies contracted by ExxonMobil Guyana have a presence in-country and have been steadily moving activities from Trinidad and Tobago and other locations around the globe to Guyana. For instance, the three prime drilling service companies— Schlumberger, Halliburton, BakerHughes— have also built major support facilities in Guyana.

“We truly believe it’s the right sustainable approach, the most efficient for the business and of course, ultimately, it’s the right answer for the country and that the people of the country feel that they’re part of that development and to ultimately benefit from the development of the resource,” said Routledge, who also recently visited the local service base of another contractor, TechnipFMC Guyana.

TechnipFMC Guyana is the provider for drilling and subsea production systems for the three sanctioned development projects offshore Guyana. The company also provides services associated with the installation, mobilization/demobilization, storage and maintenance of assets provided for the projects. “This service base will allow us to really expand our foot print within Guyana and bring some services to Guyana that were traditionally performed outside of the country, said Johnny Hewett, Country Manager of Technip FMC.

Already the company has over 50 direct Guyanese employees in different disciplines but the majority of whom are technical services personnel. Most of these employees have received extensive training abroad with 13 currently being trained in Houston, Texas. Hewett also indicated that the company has long collaborated with the Centre for Local Business Development to expand and develop its local supplier base.

“In the early days, when we started exploration, there was no infrastructure, no expertise, no history to leverage so we had to utilize the existing capability, the existing facilities in Trinidad. Over time, now that we have that line of sight to more development, we can continue this investment journey and move more of that work, the facilities, the capability to Guyana,” Routledge outlined. “I’m really excited to say that by sometime in 2022, virtually all of that supply chain, all of that work will have been moved to Guyana from Trinidad. That will be a major milestone for Guyana, for local content, for the people of Guyana.

Steady Phased Development

With three sanctioned projects; Liza Phase 1, Liza Phase 2 and Payara, ExxonMobil sees the potential of up to 10 projects to develop the current resource estimate of approximately 9 billion barrels of oil equivalent in the Stabroek Block.

A steady phased approach to these developments will enable sustained growth in local content, Routledge asserted. “The ability to look out at a number of projects enables companies and enables investors to invest, to build infrastructure, to hire and train people so that the work can be done here. It’s not just one project, it’s that sequence and so they know that they’re going to get the payback from the investment and the real benefit to the country is that infrastructure and that additional capacity in the workforce will be there for other purposes when we finish building the projects offshore,” he added. [Press Release]