…President Granger declares December 20 ‘National Petroleum Day’

President David Granger on Friday night declared December 20 as National Petroleum Day as he simultaneously announced the production of first oil in a televised national address.

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The President said that the proclamation will remind Guyanese “of our duty to protect the country’s patrimony and to ensure the sustainable management of finite hydrocarbon resources.”

American oil giant ExxonMobil will go down in history as the first company to pump oil for commercial purposes here.

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                  The Liza Destiny FPSO

President Granger said that Petroleum production in Guyana be a transformative process in the country’s economic development. The petroleum sector will stimulate increased employment and expand services, he said.

According to the President, the APNU+AFC Government will unveil a ‘Decade of Development, 2020-2029’ plan, aimed at ensuring that petroleum resources will be utilized to provide the ‘good life’ for all.

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The ‘Decade’ is a ten-year plan to intensify development and improve citizens’ quality of life, he said. He noted that every Guyanese will benefit from petroleum production. “No one will be left behind,” he said.

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President Granger noted that the Department of Energy was established to manage the country’s hydrocarbon resources. He said it is seeking the best advice, including international best practices as it builds the institutional, legislative and regulatory capability to manage this sector effectively and efficiently.

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He also listed the establishment of legislation to regulate the sector. He said that the Natural Resource Fund Act 2019 was passed by the National Assembly; the ‘Act’ provides for ensuring that the country’s resource wealth “…benefits both current and future generations…”; it incorporates oversight, accounting, reporting and auditing mechanisms to promote prudent, transparent and accountable management of oil revenues.

President Granger assured the populace that the APNU+AFC Government will manage petroleum revenues prudently to ensure fiscal discipline, financial sector stability, sustainable levels of public debt and low inflation.

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He said that withdrawals from the ‘Fund’ will follow a balanced approach, prioritising investment in public education, public health, public infrastructure, public security, social protection and other social services and will support private sector development.

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“Petroleum production has brought the prospects of a higher quality of life closer to our households and neighbourhoods. It is a momentous event which we should commemorate for perpetuity,” the Guyanese leader noted.

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Guyana’s future, he said, is brighter with the beginning of ‘first oil’. The ‘good life’ for everyone beckons, he added. “Let us work together to build a happy and prosperous country for the present and future generations,” he President urged.

First oil production was initially expected to go on stream during the first quarter of 2020.However, several weeks ago, HESS Corporation, a partner of Exxon, announced that first oil was possible late 2019.

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Several days ago, it was reported that Exxon has secured the services of a number of oil and gas as it enters the commercial production phase of its operations here.

Among them are the Texas-based industrial service company, Baker Hughes, Italian oil and gas industry contractor, SAIPEM, and global oil and gas company, TechniFMC– a United Kingdom (UK) company that provides complete project life-cycle services for the energy industry.

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These companies, which provide direct services in various areas to ExxonMobil, were on display at the ongoing Department of Energy’s GIPEX 2019 forum at the Marriott Hotel last month.

The first three cargo lifts of Guyana’s crude following ‘first oil’ will be up for direct sale to international traders expected in the country this week, Director of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe said on Sunday, while noting that the short-term arrangement is the best option for Guyana as it heads into the new industry.

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Dr. Bynoe clarified misguided reports, by confirming that the country’s decisions are being guided by a full team of international experts, internal experts and the Guyana Public Procurement Commission (PPC).

Already, all systems are being oiled for petroleum production.

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On Friday, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman told the Guyana Chronicle that Guyana “is as ready as it can be” for first oil.

Trotman said that he was “euphoric” about the oil sector’s advancement from first oil onward.

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