…says Guyanese employed in jobs ranging from engineers to labourers
In Guyana, for decades, and having
found over a dozen oil wells since 2015, there is some expectation that
ExxonMobil can provide direct employment for locals. The company
contended that it has been able to employ thousands of locals during its
time in Guyana.
According to Exxon’s Senior Director of Public and Government Affairs,
Diedre Moe, Exxon currently has over 3400 persons working on its local
operations. This includes the Stabroek Block, where the company has a
Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel and other
infrastructure set up.
“We have over 3400 people working on the projects in Guyana. More than
1700 or 50 per cent are actually Guyanese. Anything from doing catering
type of work to roustabouts on board, safety and health officers and we
also have significant work at shore base, activities like loading pipes.
And then, of course, we have persons working for us directly,
everything like accountants to communication professionals to
“We had three specifically that were hired a couple years ago. And they
spent 18 months in the US at our expense. And they got a chance to be
trained in how different types of oil and gas operations work. And they
have since come back. They are actually going to be responsible for
different issues regarding the Liza Phase One project. The jobs we have
for Guyanese run the gamut of opportunities.”
According to Moe, Exxon has worked with over 600 local vendors and
suppliers on a sub-contractual basis, since they first began their
operations in 1999. She noted that Exxon has expended over $36 billion
on supplies from local vendors.
Local content and what it will do for Guyana has been a burning question
since the announcement of oil in the Stabroek Block. After Exxon first
tempered expectations by saying that few job opportunities will be
created by oil, it has since said that it will help with local content
One measure it has taken is to set up a Centre for Local Business
Development (CLBD). A prevailing complaint has been that Guyanese are
losing out to foreigners when it comes to local content, especially as
the Local Content Policy is still to be in effect.
A third draft of the local content plan was released weeks ago and was
subjected to discussions among stakeholders. The lack of penalties was a
prevalent concern by those who reviewed the document. In fact, the
policy itself said that there were limits to its scope.
The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), having
identified a number of weaknesses within the policy including the most
obvious one of the lack of penalties for delinquent operators, had sent
out an analysis on the document.
They had said that with no penalties to hold operators accountable to
their commitments and international principles of providing employment
and business opportunities for Guyanese, “handshakes” and good faith are