GEORGETOWN, Guyana – The Ministry of Natural Resources takes umbrage at disparaging comments made by Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo to the effect that the establishment of an On-Shore Supply Base is a “pie in the sky” concept as ExxonMobil will not be investing in it. Mr. Jagdeo is obviously ill-advised.
In all the models examined around the world it is very rare, if at all, for the international operating companies to invest in a supply base, and rather more frequently the case to have public/private partnerships, or the private sector only, do so. A supply base must be established to support the burgeoning oil and gas industry.
At present, ExxonMobil uses bases in neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago and in Georgetown; neither of which it “invested” in. Already officials in Trinidad are quoted as saying they are preparing to offer on-shore supply services to ExxonMobil when production starts. Therefore, it is of vital importance for the Guyana economy that such a base be established formally so as to ensure local involvement by local entrepreneurs as a means of better regulating the supply chain of the exploration and production business. Additionally, companies other than ExxonMobil will be conducting exploration and production and the facilities along the Demerara River will be insufficient as the industry rapidly develops.
The entire country will benefit from a localised facility at Crab Island, Berbice that provides an array of goods and services to the oil companies, and particularly, the people of Regions 5 and 6.
The onshore base will also support the growth of other sectors. This is a part of a deliberate strategy to counter ‘Dutch disease’ and promote our goal of sustainable and holistic economic growth.
We urge the Leader of the Opposition to adjust his thinking and stop opposing for opposing sake, and embrace the Government’s plans to deliver a modern, good and better life for all Guyanese.