Oil production continues to rapidly increase offshore Guyana since the first discovery was made in 2015. As the country works to ensure that it avoids the ‘resource curse’, Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Ado said there needs to be transparent management of the country’s oil revenues while encouraging investments along the supply chain through providing incentives.
He was addressing the opening of the much-anticipated International Energy Conference and Expo 2022 at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown Guyana on Tuesday.
Ghana discovered oil and gas in 2007 and has since been pursuing enhanced accountability and transparency to ensure its citizens benefit. Learning from past experiences, the President said the major challenges have been developing the industry will ensuring optimum local content and participation, enhancing national development and creating jobs.
To this end, he said “to ensure energy sustainability, it is critical to ensure that we balance carefully, social, economic and environmental benefits in a continuously changing world.”
He added that “no energy project is worth it if the interests of some or all of the stakeholders are not properly represented, and they are left impoverished and dissatisfied.”
President Akufo-Ado shared a list of suggestions to help Guyana build a successful petroleum industry.
- Effect proper management of oil and gas revenues transparently and ensure equity for the benefit of all citizens through institutional reforms and transparent regulations through proper legislative guidelines.
- Ensure that the petroleum sector remains a significant contributor to budget and nationwide development in the future.
- Lay the basis for continuous development of the petroleum sector by ensuring that the Guyanese basin remains an attractive area for investment, value creation and industrial development in Guyana.
- Pursue ambitious environmental and resource management policies based on a sustainable petroleum business and co-existence between the petroleum sector, other industries and environmental considerations
- Ensure that petroleum becomes a cutting edge industry with a strong focus on health, safety and environment at all levels of the industry
- Encourage investments along the oil and gas supply chain through incentivization and practical regulations.
- Maximise the benefits of producing wealth from oil and gas by using local resources and services, people, companies and finance in all facets of the value chain of the oil and gas industry and retaining the benefits within the country
- Promote capacity building at all levels in the technical, vocational and tertiary educational institutions of the country
- Support the strategic exploitation of domestic natural gas discoveries through fiscal incentives and financial support
- Minimize the flaring or venting of natural gas generated and develop a viable domestic petrochemical industry based on natural gas
- Diversify the electricity generation through the development of renewable energy sources for which this country has huge potential and promote energy efficiency
- Pursue the internalization of the Guyanese petroleum industry including regional and bilateral local content initiative. This will provide the sector with development opportunities while experience from international activities can contribute to continued development of the sector.
The Ghanaian president said he looks forward to setting up a joint working team with Guyana’s local content secretariat which will come onstream this year.
The event was attended by major stakeholders in the petroleum industry, President Irfaan Ali and his wife Mrs. Arya Ali, Prime Minister Brig. Mark Phillips, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo and various Government Ministers, Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley, President of Suriname Chandrikapersad Santokhi, representatives of GO-Invest, ExxonMobil and others.