Govt aims to set up Task Force on natural gas to ensure it is brought to shore soonest

Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat

Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat has announced that the Guyana Government is hoping to establish a Task Force on natural gas to ensure that it is brought onshore soonest.

He made the announcement during the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Oil and Gas Summit, a three-day virtual event organised by Valiant Business Media UK in collaboration with others.

In his remarks during the opening ceremony, the minister affirmed that “the resource curse will not be taken lightly” by the PPP/C Government. He said the administration “will learn from the experiences of others,” in relation to the manner in which the country’s oil funds are managed.

He also restated that the PPP/C Government will approach the oil and gas sector in a national, nonpartisan manner.

Guyana is a new petroleum producing nation with 18 oil discoveries so far from its principal explorer, US-oil giant, ExxonMobil.

According to Bharrat, Guyana is preparing and transitioning for one of the most momentous occurrences in its economic history – the emerging oil and gas sector.

This preparation, he noted, requires the building of human and institutional capacity, crafting and agreeing to some critical policies and legal measures such as the Natural Resource Fund, and the crude lifting agreement, and pursuing strong support and coordination amongst a number of governmental and non-governmental agencies.

He noted that the country’s oil and gas sector will be catalytic and pivotal in transforming the lives of Guyanese adding that at a time when the world is grappling with so many economic challenges, “Guyana is on the rise.”

“In all of this we will not lose sight of our most important resource – our people – their needs, their hopes, the right to a quality life, to education, to health, to safety to a future,” Bharrat declared.

Minister Bharrat also disclosed that the Government is hoping to set up a technical Task Force on natural gas to ensure that gas is brought to shore in the shortest possible time to reduce energy insecurities in the power sector. Also, he said this will feed into an overall plan for the utilisation and monetisation of gas.

The Minister further added that the PPP/C Government will move very early to set up a Petroleum Commission to ensure that the sector is managed efficiently so that Guyanese will receive maximum benefits.

“Another early and key initiative is the move to have Petroleum Commission Bill passed in the National Assembly so as to effectuate the establishment of the Petroleum Commission and provide the technical institutional framework for the enhanced regulation of the sector,” Bharrat said.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of Valiant Business Media, Shariq AbdulHai noted that this region is set to become “the energy hub of the world”. He expressed hope that after three days of intense engagements, stakeholders will remain connected.

There are over 800 registered attendees at the event which will see industry experts, Governments and other stakeholders making presentations and engaging with each other.