India willing to train Guyanese to take up jobs in oil & gas sector

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The first Guyanese-fabricated jumper being loaded out for installation offshore [File photo]

To develop the skills needed to manage Guyana’s booming oil and gas sector, India has presented a proposal to the government of Guyana to train executives and those associated with the sector. All expenses pertaining to the training will be taken care of by the Government of India.

This was echoed by High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr K.J Srinivasa during an interview with this publication on Wednesday.

Dr Srinivasa explained that this is premised on the fact that India has several multi-national oil companies worth billions of dollars that are involved in up-stream, down-stream, mid-stream, and distribution operations. India has over the years provided the necessary avenues to train Guyanese in almost every sector.

Nevertheless, the Guyana government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring that Guyanese reap the benefits of the oil industry by providing them with the necessary skills and expertise to fill jobs.

In fact, shortly after assuming office in 2020, President Irfaan Ali announced plans to establish a world-class, world-rated national oil and gas training centre here to train local and Caribbean workers.

Costing some US$20 million, the training centre will be located at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara (ECD).

Then in September 2021, the government offered a limited number of scholarships in oil and gas and other areas at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, United Kingdom (UK).

In November 2021, the government through the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) announced that it was offering training programmes offered by 3T EnerMech, a world-class workforce development company for technical work in the oil and gas sector. The courses were in the areas of Rigging and Erecting, SMP (Safety Management Pack) Operative and Fabric Maintenance, Coating, and Scaffolding.

The University of Guyana’s (UG) Institute of Energy Diplomacy (IED) recently announced a suite of executive-level professional courses with specialties in energy markets, oil-and-gas value chain, energy transport and shipping, and crude-oil trading.

The Guyana Oil and Gas Energy Chamber (GOGEC), a private sector umbrella organization, commissioned an oil and gas training centre at Middle Street, Georgetown in July of last year.

Speaking at an event last year, Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar urged the private sector to do its own assessment of the oil and gas industry to provide as much opportunities for locals, noting that a lot of roles in the sector are being taken up by foreigners.

Meanwhile, this is not the first time, the Indian Government has indicated its interest in Guyana’s oil sector. In fact, India had bought its first cargo of light sweet crude from Guyana.

It was reported that one-million-barrel cargo of Guyana’s Liza light sweet crude set sail from offshore Guyana on March 2, 2021 on the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker Sea Garnet bound for India’s Mundra port.

At the time, Dr KJ Srinivasa had stated that this was a commercial transaction between the companies involved, and as such, he was not privy to the details.

However, he believed that the cargo was Hess’ quota that was bought by HMEL from Trafigura. Reuters reported that Trafigura “declined to comment on commercial matters” and Hess “did not immediately reply to a request for comment”.

Then again in in July of the same year, another one million barrels of crude was purchased by Indian Oil Corp (IOC).

The oil, which came from the Liza-1 field, sailed on July 4, 2021 on a Greek tanker for India’s Paradip port. India imported a significant portion of its oil from Iran and Venezuela.

However, the sanctions imposed by the United States on these two nations have resulted in a massive reduction in those imports.

According to the High Commissioner, the Indian companies paid US$141 million for the two lifts. Guyana, with US oil giant ExxonMobil as the operator, began producing oil on December 20, 2019 in the Stabroek Block. Guyana’s oil revenues are being banked in the New York Federal Reserve Bank, where it is earning interest.