… Says public support necessary for strengthening organizations
While criticism remains over the management of Guyana’s oil and gas sector, Economist Carl Greenidge, who served on the local content panel that established the People’s Progressive Party Government (PPP), believes Guyana’s future will be bright with ‘ sector.
In a recent interview with a local radio station, Greenidge, a former Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs, who now serves as a Border Adviser at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was asked for his views on the sector.
Greenidge had a message for the gay people and those critical of Guyana’s oil production at a time when the country is also trying to go green. He announced that Guyana’s future is bright, and that oil resources must be developed for Guyana to reach its true potential.
“From where I sit, and as an economist, I think Guyana’s future is bright. Whether it’s petroleum or gold or diamonds, or daffodils or chrysanthemums, any income-generating asset or resource you need requires proper management. So the so-called curses are not from the product, they are from the way you manage it.
“And if you start to believe that you shouldn’t exploit petroleum because it’s ruined by the rest of the world … you’re not going to get very far. Our task is not to exploit resources, but to ensure that these resources, which are public goods, are jointly managed. ”
Greenidge also noted the importance of developing organizations that can adequately manage the oil sector. According to him, capacity building benefits from public participation, and is undermined not only by the politicians, but also the perplexity of “ridicule and woe.”
“The kinds of strengthening our organizations you are referring to are undermined in part by public attitudes and voices, as well as the inadequacy of politicians,” he said. “So you identify an organization to reform. Someone is appointed to the organization with a mandate not to do anything, and you are not getting the product you want. So there is no silver bullet.
“We have to tackle these problems at every different level they reach. It’s not just a politicians problem ”.
Guyana, with the oil giant ExxonMobil as an operator, began producing oil on December 20, 2019 in the Stabroek block, picking up its first million barrels of profit oil from Liza-1 well in February 2020. Oil tanker Cap Phillippe transported the this lift from the Destiny Float, Production, Storage and Unloading (FPSO) Liza, allowing Guyana to receive its first payment next month.
That money, GY $ 11.4 billion, was Guyana’s first oil revenue based on revenue from Liza’s production. It was deposited in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in March of that year.
Subsequently, an additional amount of G $ 7.3 billion was deposited, in addition to royalty payments. However, this money has remained untouched, as the prolonged political crisis that followed the March 2nd General and Regional Elections damaged any attempt to establish a system for withdrawing funds.
The Natural Resources Fund Act states that various committees must be established to oversee the fund. It is expected that this legislation will be reviewed by the current Government this year.
In terms of capacity building, the Government has also set its sights on establishing a Petroleum Commission that would manage the sector, while building capacity in the Guyana Finance Authority (GRA) to audit offshore oil drilling companies Guyana. (G3)