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Guyana Petroleum Summit Brings Together Leaders from Government, Industry, Investment Community

May 9th, 2019 – Houston, Texas – The first Guyana Petroleum Summit was held today in Houston, Texas, including attendees from a Guyana delegation who earlier in the week generated significant interest at the annual Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).

Over 150 oil industry executives, investors, Guyanese government officials and local business leaders joined for a series of presentations and panel discussions on a range of topics, from geology to regulatory to local content, the latter garnering particular attention.

C.A. Nigel Hughes, Managing Partner, Hughes, Fields & Stoby, and former President of the Guyana Bar Association, chaired the event. In his welcome he remarked “This summit is an important opportunity to connect those in Guyana capable of driving change, with those located internationally seeking to be involved in the Guyanese energy sector. The program and attendees reflect the breadth of challenges to be addressed.”

The opening keynote was delivered by former Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin. His talk highlighted the need to learn from other countries who have had significant oil wealth, and the delicate balance of society and business.

In a light but powerful moment, former minister Gaskin noted ‘While from outside Guyana one may see our politics as divided….., anyone who has ever been to a Guyanese wedding, cricket match or any of our many religious and cultural events will know how close we are as a people.’

The keynote was followed by a highly engaging presentation and Q&A by John R. Dribus, a global geologist and advisor with over 40 years of industry experience focused on oil and gas exploration. Dribus began 100’s of millions of years ago, at the global scale, to show a history of where and how oil and gas reservoirs came into being, how hydrocarbons were trapped (or not), and the analogues to Guyana from across the Atlantic margin to west Africa. His conclusions were simple: Guyana is a unique and exciting province, with significant potential and challenging risks.

Former Minister of Energy of Trinidad and Tobago, Kevin Romnarine gave a regional perspective on considerations for a regulatory framework for granting exploration and production rights. Of particular interest was his introduction to attendees of ‘The 10 Norwegian commandments’ the country set out in 1971 at the time when the country first understood it would be a significant oil producing nation, selecting certain ones of particular relevance to Guyana. Romnarine also noted the reality that underground reservoirs often cross international boundaries, and the need for unitized developments and an understanding of international maritime law.

President and CEO of Saipem North America, Giorgio Martinelli provided a keynote based on their experience in delivering significant oil and gas projects throughout the world and the impact on local economies, many in developing countries. He cited the multiplier effect on economics and job creation, and on developing human capital through education and new skills, to the investment of international companies. For every dollar spent on wages, purchases, and taxes; for every person hired and trained, there is a multiplier effect on the local economy that can provide benefits from 50% to factors of 2,3 or more over the direct spend.

A panel discussion by major contractors and service companies addressed a range of issues that included keeping pace with a fast track development and building infrastructure. As would be expected, health and safety featured prominently in the discussion. Tidewater Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gorski addressed a question on security offshore, noting ‘Security is very much part of HSE. Anytime you have wealth on a scale now coming to Guyana, it will draw bad elements. Tidewater operates worldwide, including in many environments where security offshore requires special attention. From our experience, something that is likely in Guyana’s future is a strengthening of its coast guard and air resources.’

Lars Mangal, CEO and President of TOTALTEC Oilfield Services, presented his views on developing local content in Guyana, and experience with the International Petroleum & Maritime Academy (the Academy), started by TOTALTEC in February 2018. The Academy has trained over 150 Guyanese, now including a number of women.

“We all agree that developing local people is the right thing to do. Globally, the industry is slow to progress, and Guyana must not follow this pattern. We need to accelerate the process.” - Mangal

Mangal showed an image of a future campus for world class oil industry training in Guyana that TOTALTEC is now in the planning and investment phase.

Visit for more information on the summit.


TOTALTEC Oilfield Services is focused on the success of the oil industry in Guyana for the benefit the country, its people, and partner companies. It does this through three areas: people, partnerships, and facilities. Qualified and motivated Guyanese develop through the Academy. Partnerships prioritize products and services that are starting points to grow from, in effectively introduce companies new to Guyana. The Guyana Shore Base facility is now supporting offshore operations.

The 94% Guyanese TOTALTEC workforce includes 8 nationalities with over 160 years of international oilfield experience.

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