Company to oversee Guyana's commercial petroleum interests to be created next year
- local scientific institute, logistics base also on the cards
Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman has disclosed three key objectives which the Government of Guyana will be pursuing in 2018 to consolidate its capacity to effectively service a modern oil and gas industry including a national oil company which will be charged with responsibility for overseeing the country’s commercial interest in the sector.
At the same time, Trotman said that during next year government will be seeking the support of the Government of Mexico in pursuit of the creation of “a scientific institute to support cutting edge regulation and development of the sector and an onshore logistics base that will serve both as a revenue earner as well as to support the development of other local industries.
Making these disclosures during a presentation to a November 24 Stakeholder Symposium at the University of Guyana titled “Identifying and meeting the demands for engineering and operations management skill required in Guyana’s emerging oil and gas industry,” Trotman also cautioned his audience on the importance of us disabusing ourselves of the notion that large capital investment in the oil industry translates into significant levels of direct employment. Guyanese, he said, must instead continue to bear in mind that the oil industry generates revenue levels “that can be made available to expand development and provide jobs in other sectors of the economy”, Trotman declared.
Addressing a gathering at the Turkeyen Campus that included both lecturers and students, Trotman said that the advent of an oil economy will have the effect of creating many more jobs outside of the sector. “……….as you shift, think also of enhancing skills that are transferrable to other sectors,” Trotman told his audience.
Contextually, the Natural Resources Minister cited fabrication which he said could be utilized in mining and shipbuilding, information technology and telecommunications which can be applicable across a wide range of sectors as well as “welders, chefs, mechanics, logistics, marketing and business administration.” In effect, Trotman said, the advent of an oil economy could see “highly trained professionals as well as an inherent culture integrated into other pertinent sectors in the nation’s economy.”
In his presentation Trotman also sought to update the university community on the inventory of institutions that have already been created and those that are scheduled to be created in the period ahead to help manage the sector.
He disclosed that “at the level of Cabinet” government has created a sub-committee for the petroleum sector comprising the Ministers of State, Natural Resources, Finance, Infrastructure, Business and the Presidential Advisor on Petroleum whilst at the ministerial level a Petroleum Sector Ministerial Committee had been created comprising the Ministers of State, Natural Resources, Finance, Infrastructure and Business. At the level of the Ministry of Natural Resources itself, the Minister disclosed that the Ministry had been consistently expanding its internal capacity by engaging “expert advisors and establishing a Petroleum Department” in addition to supporting “key governance initiatives” including the recently created Guyana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (G-EITI) that allowed for the country’s subsequent membership of the international institution, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
The EITI is a global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources. It seeks to address the key governance issues of the oil, gas and mining sectors.
UG holds Stakeholders Oil and Gas Symposium
Today, the University of Guyana began consultations on identifying and meeting demands for engineering and operations management skills in the oil and gas industry.
The one-day symposium was held at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown. Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, in commending the university for its resourcefulness, noted that this stakeholder engagement advances the local content narrative.
“I see this initiative by the University of Guyana as another pillar that builds on the firm foundation we wish to create by helping us to continue our conversation of local content generally and the demands for engineering and operations management skills within the emerging sector specifically,” Minister Trotman said.
Industry representatives from ExxonMobil and Repsol along with academics from the University of the West Indies (UWI) and University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) gave their perspectives on the limitations and opportunities for human resources in the industry for UG’s consideration. The private sector, university faculties, and students were also part of the discussions.
The symposium seeks to provide initial orientation for training institutions towards the operation management of the oil and gas companies operating in Guyana.
However, Minister Trotman cautioned that focus must also be placed on the supporting sectors since there will not be large numbers of direct employment in the industry. “As you shift, think also of enhancing skills that are transferable to other sectors, example, fabrication which can be utilised in mining and shipbuilding, IT and telecommunications,” he said.
UG is also seeking to understand and align itself with government’s priorities, while also identifying and filling gaps in engineering skills for the industry.
This stakeholder engagement comes on the heels of a recent $100 million grant from the Ministry of Natural Resources to help the University build capacities in oil and gas.
Gov't creating environment for Guyana to 'flourish' off oil - Trotman
Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman Friday outlined a series of initiatives the government is currently engaged in to create an enabling environment for the oil and gas industry to thrive and for the nation to “flourish.”
“This new sector will provide increased revenue for the country whilst offering significant opportunities for the development of our businesses and talents.
“To say that it will be transformative will be to understate its impact,” Trotman said at a symposium organised by the University of Guyana’s Faculty of Technology.
In 2018, he said work will continue towards key initiatives, including:
- The establishment of – a national oil company with responsibility for Guyana’s commercial interest in the sector.
- A scientific institute to support cutting-edge regulation and development of the sector. This initiative is supported by the Government of Mexico, a country which has a world recognised scientific programme that supports the development of its oil industry.
- An offshore logistics base, which will serve to not only support the operations of the oil operators, and bring much-needed revenue to Guyana, but also support the development of other local industries
Trotman said that in developing the policies and systems to manage the oil and gas sector, the government is committed to ensuring that both the present and future generations will reap the benefits.
“In developing the policies and systems to manage the sector, Trotman said the government is committed to ensuring that both present and future generations will reap the benefits.
“The nexus between our current development efforts and repositioning our people, especially our youth, to be able to responsibly manage this sector and all of its ‘spin-off’ benefits is of great importance,” he stated.
Trotman said that the Sovereign Wealth Fund Bill is in draft form and under review. The process is being led by the Ministry of Finance and is key to the responsible and prudent management of revenues from the sector.
The Bill is intended to strengthen Guyana’s fiscal structures and provide for generational savings through a number of mechanisms, including budgetary support, infrastructural development, savings for future generations, social programmes, environmental protection, and Regional and Citizens benefit sharing.
The Local Content Policy is in the drafting and consultation stages.
“The Local Content policy is an expansion of our vision as it relates to Guyanese involvement in the sector through training, the promotion of knowledge, and the transfer of technology and experience through mentoring programmes, employment opportunities and business partnerships,” Trotman stated.
The present Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act is being revised. This is the main piece of legislation which details the conduct of activities and their regulation within the sector. This Act will be supported by a series of detailed regulations, the first series of which will speak to the technical, health, safety and environmental requirements.
The Petroleum Commission of Guyana Bill is aimed at establishing an agency responsible for the regulation of the sector, ensuring that activities are carried out in conformity with policies, legislation and regulations.
Trotman noted: “This Bill, which currently is before a Special Select Committee, continues to go through a series of national consultations to ensure that we create an agency which is relevant, capable and equipped to carry out this critical function.”
Trotman said that while the industry does not employ many persons directly, it generates revenues that can be made available to expend development and provide jobs in other sectors of the economy.
“Therefore as you shift, think also of enhancing skills that are transferable to other sectors; eg. fabrication – could be utilized in mining and shipbuilding.
“IT and telecommunications, for example, could be applicable across a wide range of sectors as well as welders, chefs, mechanics, logistics, marketing and business administration,” Trotman stated.
Oil needs "a whole new architecture" of public sector workers - Professor Michael E. Scott
Oil needs ‘a whole new architecture’ of public sector workers
Public sector reform is in a comatose state despite years of work and an investment of millions of US dollars, Professor Michael E. Scott, who also serves as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana, has said.
He indicated that this was troubling at a time when Guyana is about to experience radical transformation with the game-changing oil and gas sector.
Speaking of the oil and gas sector, he said it has the capacity to reconfigure the entire social system – economically, institutionally, politically, legally and environmentally.
“I consider it rather troubling at this critical time that Guyana’s socio-economic landscape is pursuing radical and economic change, there is no attempt to re-consider, re-focus, re-configure and re-position an effective and efficient public sector to deliver services to meet the requirements of the oncoming reality,” Scott said Wednesday.
He was at the time delivering the first 2017 Professorial Lecture of the University. Professor Scott deals with Academic Engagement at the University.
He said there has been an investment of over US$300 million over the years – funded by the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the British government and others – towards public sector reform – but he said that process seems to have been stagnated.
“Despite years of reforms and initiatives, it is clear public sector reform is comatose. This presents significant challenges,” he stated.
He said the state of reform begs the question of the readiness to facilitate this game-changing sector and all its implications.
According to Professor Scott, the public sector serves the interest of Guyanese and is responsible for managing the conditions for investment. In fact, he said in the public sector’s bosom is the policy decisions, the laws, the concessions, and the rules pertaining to the initiation of the oil and gas sector.
Scott said that at this critical and historic juncture, the public sector needs to give assurance in a meaningful way of its readiness to facilitate and manage the new and significant game-changing sector.
“A whole new architecture of personnel is needed,” he declared.
He added: “The public sector must be ready to set, pursue and adjust goals, re-configure its services and upgrade its service delivery to meet the new reality in the economic sector.”
Professor Scott summarised the public sector to mean state and government activities of not only government ministries and departments, but also semi-autonomous government agencies, statutory government oversight bodies, State trading and investment bodies, State enterprises and in the Disciplined Forces.
Over the years, he said no change has been obvious in the public sector other than those that are structural. And so, he questioned how appropriate the Guyanese public sector and its business practices is to usher in and facilitate the veritable game-changing sector that oil and gas is.
He reasoned that the offshore business of oil and gas will resonate onshore and so public sector rules, regulations, laws, and policies “must be ready.”
“The public sector architecture must be capable and efficient to service the game changer in what is increasingly a glocalised policy environment, where the local and global can hardly be differentiated.”
He pointed to the fact that the sector would be completely new to Guyana as oil and gas is an extractive sector of a different type.
“It is at an offshore location and for Guyanese, it is called Black gold. It is drilled and pumped, it is not mined, as we are accustomed to with our pork-knockers and miners.
“There are large players capable of accelerating economic upturn, capable of generating s we know the Dutch disease, capable of spawning a black gold parallel economy, as we’ve seen in other parts of the world, capable of undermining public processes and structures, if the public sector and its service business are not strengthened,” he stated.
The University of Guyana’s Professorial Lectures provide newly appointed professors with the opportunity to inform colleagues, the campus community and the general public of their work to date, including current research and future plans. The inaugural Professorial Lecture was held in 2015.
UG's Technology Faculty to be among key beneficiaries of $100M GGMC grant
The Guyana Geology and Mines Com-mission (GGMC) through the Ministry of Natural Resources has awarded a grant for a total of $100 million to the University of Guyana (UG) for the Faculty of Technology, supporting programmes, research and scholarships.
Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman, who engineered the grant, and UG Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ivelaw Griffith signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the grant, described as one of the biggest the university has received, at the latter’s office yesterday.
According to Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Paloma Mohamed-Martin, the grant was negotiated over an 11-month period as the GGMC had to satisfy certain conditions under its Act in order for the money to be disbursed.
A cheque for $45 million was handed over by the minister and Mohamed-Martin explained that the remaining $55 million would be used to purchase needed equipment and supplies for the Faculty of Technology.
Another $15 million will go towards training and scholarships at the institution and $16 million will go towards the improvement of classrooms and teaching facilities for allied and supporting programmes in the faculties of Health Sciences, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Agriculture, the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE) and the Tain Campus in Berbice.
Funding will also be channeled towards supporting the School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation programmes, with an emphasis on the natural resources sector and to support research, curriculum review and development processes, marketing, media and stakeholder consultations.
UG yesterday said that the GGMC has been a longstanding partner of the faculties of Technology, and Earth and Environmental Sciences. In particular, the Geology Department, to which the commission has granted significant sums in the past, has been the main beneficiary.
The new MoU provides for the design and execution of geology, mining engineering and geological engineering programmes; re-tooling and equipping of the geological laboratory to the tune of $55M; curriculum design and enhancement, and provision of laboratory services to the mining sector; collaboration with other government agencies or private entities on areas of common interest for the purpose of participation in research projects for various areas, particularly in the geology, mining engineering and geological engineering programmes; collaboration on students’ internship attachments with GGMC; sharing technical publications based on assignments of the programmes done by scholars of GMMC; and collaboration on annual renewal of the agreement.
In brief remarks at the signing, GGMC Commissioner Newell Dennison said the commission will continue to support UG as it would like to see a university grounded in research and scholarships. He said while Minister Trotman had promised the support, it was for the commission to figure out how this could be provided for.
Trotman, on the other hand, pointed out that by supporting the university, the ministry is investing in youths, who are the future. He described the new MoU as the basis for a renewed and enhanced relationship between GGMC and the university and added that it is also a testimony of their pride in the institution and the fact that it is in good hands.
The minister also noted that while Guyana is going to soon be an oil producing state, the other pillars of the economy, such as gold and diamond mining, should not be forgotten.
$100M grant aimed at improving UG's oil and gas programmes
The Ministry of Natural Resources, the Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the University of Guyana (UG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a $100 million philanthropic education grant for the year 2017-2018. The grant will provide the University of Guyana’s, Faculty of Technology with much-needed equipment for its geology labs, curriculum development, training, outreach, and field research, all linked to the emerging oil and gas sector. It also provides specific allocations for all other faculties for student-centered enhancements at the university, the government disclosed in a statement.
Of the total amount, $55M will be used for equipment and supplies to the Faculty of Technology’s laboratories, all of which will be pursued by the GGMC. Some $15M will be used for scholarships and training, while $16M will go towards the improvements of classrooms and teaching facilities at the Faculty of Health, Earth and Natural Sciences, Humanities and Social Science and Agriculture at the Turkeyen and Tain Campuses and IDCE.
The sum of $7M will go towards supporting the School for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation programme with emphasis on the Natural Resources sector, and $7M to support research, curriculum review and development process, marketing, media and stakeholder consultations. Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, who handed over the first tranche of the funds ($45M) to Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ivelaw Griffith, at the University of Guyana, Turkeyen Campus, said that the government views the initiative as an investment in education, and youth development.
The minister also noted the timeliness of the projects, adding that it is significant as “it represents a renewed and enhanced relationship with the Ministry and GGMC with the University of Guyana,” even as the oil and gas sector develops. Further, Minister Trotman stated that research is also needed in the gold and diamond mining sectors; as they will not be neglected in the period, post-2020 when oil production begins.
Professor Griffith explained that this is one of the university’s most significant grants, which has been negotiated over the last year with the GGMC. Griffith said that it is an investment by the Government in the institution, in an area critical to the nation’s economy. Meanwhile, GGMC Commissioner, Newell Dennison said that GGMC has a long-standing relationship with the University. He highlighted the fact, that many of the commission’s staff through scholarships, have received their higher education at the institution.
GOVT/UG sign MOU to improve programmes allied to oil and gas sector
The Ministry of Natural Resources, the Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the University of Guyana (UG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for $100 million philanthropic education grant for the year 2017-2018.
The grant will provide the University of Guyana’s Faculty of Technology with much-needed equipment for its geology labs, curriculum development, training, outreach, and field research, all linked to the emerging oil and gas sector. It also provides specific allocations for all other faculties for student-centered enhancements at the university.
Of the total amount, $55M (55%) will be used for equipment and supplies to the Faculty of Technology’s laboratories all of which will be pursued by the GGMC. $15M (15%) will be used for scholarships and training, while $16m each (16%) will go towards the improvements of classrooms and teaching facilities at the Faculty of Health, Earth and Natural Sciences, Humanities and Social Science and Agriculture at the Turkeyen and Tain Campuses and IDCE.
The sum of $7M (7%) will go towards supporting the School for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation programme with emphasis on the Natural Resources sector; and 7M (5.7%) to support research, curriculum review and development process, marketing, media and stakeholder consultations.
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, who handed over the first tranche of the funds ($45M) to Vice Chancellor Prof. Ivelaw Griffith, at the University of Guyana, Turkeyen Campus, said that the government views the initiative as an investment in education, and youth development.
The minister also noted that timeliness of the projects, adding that it is a significant “it represents a renewed and enhanced relationship with the Ministry, GGMC with the University of Guyana,” even as the oil and gas sector develops.
Further, Minister Trotman stated that research is also needed in the gold and diamond mining sectors as they will not be neglected post-2020 when oil production begins.
Professor Griffith explained that this is one of the university’s most significant grants, which has been negotiated over the last year with the GGMC. Griffith said that it is an investment by the Government in the institution, in an area critical to the nation’s economy.
Meanwhile, GGMC Commissioner, Noel Dennison said that GGMC has a long-standing relationship with the UG. He highlighted the fact that many of the commission’s staff, through scholarships have their education at the institution.
Article adapted from: http://gina.gov.gy/govtug-sign-mou-to-improve-programmes-allied-to-oil-and-gas-sector/
UG must guard against overproducing graduates - Vice-Chancellor
THE University of Guyana (UG) has been warned to be very careful with the amount of degree programmes it offers to complement Guyana’s emerging oil- and-gas industry. This is according to Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Ivelaw Griffith, who said taking the professional recommendation into consideration, the university will be offering less degree programmes and more “short courses” in the field. In fact, he said what is actually needed at this time is more technical skills, which are being taught at the technical institutes.
Speaking with the Guyana Chronicle, Professor Griffith said what is needed for the energy sector is definitely not what has been initially touted. “It is technical skills; it is persons coming out of the technical institutes. So we have to strike a balance between investing methodically enough so that we do not overproduce,” he said. There have been much talks about Guyana’s level of preparedness as it moves to embrace the new sector, which will undoubtedly transform the country’s economy. The concerns were particularly over what role the premier tertiary institution could play in paving the way for the country in managing the oil-and-gas sector.
UG Chancellor Dr. Nigel Harris had previously sounded a warning that the university had better be prepared for the sector with new and innovative programmes. But new information reaching the institution suggests that there is much more than programmes that needs to be pursued. The advice has come from several quarters, particularly from universities in oil- producing countries. Those institutions have been doubling up on their programmes over time. Griffith said an adviser from the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine Campus said that institution made the very mistake with the energy degree programmes it offered, only to later find out that the absorptive market was not there.
“We have got to walk a thin line between starting programmes, getting a good idea of what is needed here and elsewhere and in partnership with other universities, do things that are better suited,” Griffith said. In that regard, he said UG is actively pursuing partnerships with several universities, including UWI and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), which have very robust oil-and-gas programmes.
“I signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of the West Indies in July. We will use that MoU as a part of ramping up the partnership with the UWI campus,” he said. He said he will soon be leading a mission to the UTT and the UWI to find out how they can partner to address Guyana’s peculiar situation.
The VC said it is quite clear that most of what the country needs for the oil-and- gas sector, cannot be answered by the university at this time. He said UG is however beginning conversations with its local partners, including the Ministry of Natural Resources. It has also taken a strategy for the short courses to the School of Entrepreneurship and Engineering.
“We recognise that some of what they need, we don’t have and we can’t pretend to have them overnight, so we are developing partnerships”, he told the Guyana Chronicle. The vice chancellor said as Guyana braces itself for the oil and gas sector, several questions must be answered, including what skills would the sector need, whether the university has the teaching resources to deliver the skills needed and the economic question — given what the needs are, whether the university would be better off doing some things in partnership with other institutions. “There is no sense pretending. We don’t have what will be needed in the next year or two, so we have to find partnerships, so yes, we have begun those conversations,” Griffith said.
Chancellor Nigel Harris had last year said that U.S. oil and gas company Exxon Mobil had approached the university, and was enquiring about its current arrangement for an industry that is likely to place the country’s economy on another level. He had promised to arrange for assistance from the University of the West Indies (UWI). According to Harris, UWI has been training petroleum engineers and other persons in the industry for the past four decades. “It may be that the UG may not be able to provide all the staff they need. So, we are planning to link the University of Guyana with other international institutions. I will be pushing for links with UWI…. It does not make sense that we have the next-door neighbours and not take advantage of the programmes,” Professor Harris had promised.
- The University of Guyana