Guyana Ministers Address the International Investment Community at Rice University’s Baker Institute
February 26th, 2019 – Houston, Tx. – Over 250 energy sector investors and stakeholders gathered at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston for an event sponsored by Bank of America Securities, with support from TOTALTEC Oilfield Services, Hughes, Fields & Stoby (USA) PLLC, and Relocaring2Guyana. Guyana’s message to the international investment community was clear: the country is open to opportunities that are transparent, sustainable and beneficial for the needs of Guyana in the short, medium and long term.
The keynote address, given by Hon. Dominic Gaskin, Minister for Business, contained a message of ambition and hope from Guyana, with a strong awareness of the dependence of its long-term future on the decisions and actions of government today.
The Honorable David Patterson, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Co-operative Republic of Guyana also addressed the international audience and summarized the significant investment opportunities in infrastructure that will progress in parallel with the development of oil.
A panel discussion formed the main part of the event, with David Patterson (Minister of Public Infrastructure), Newell Maurice Dennison (Commissioner, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission), Sean Herrera (Managing Director of the Caribbean, Schlumberger) and Jamie McInerney (Senior Director, FTI Consulting) as the panel experts. Moderation was provided by Francisco Monaldi, Ph.D., Fellow in Latin American Policy, Baker Institute.
Excerpts from Gaskin’s keynote address follow. The full address can be watched on Youtube at here.
“Until the discovery of oil in 2015, we were, arguably, one of the most ignored countries in the world. […] All this oil can become a good thing for Guyana. […] Our government has embarked on an ambitious program of digitization and automation as a means of […] creating a more friendly business environment.
The address also gave cautionary remarks regarding lessons learned by observing the path followed by countries who have previously discovered oil:
“As a government, we see the recent discovery of oil as a way of fast tracking our economy and development. […] We have an expectation of a more productive and better compensated workforce, an accelerated roll out of our infrastructure development and a more effective delivery of government services, especially in the areas of education and youth development. […] While we recognize that there is a lot that our country can gain by this exposure to international oil companies, we also recognize that there is a lot we can lose if we do not manage this sector responsibly. We have had a chance to see some of the mistakes that other countries have made after discovering oil. We’ve also had a chance to see some of the negative consequences of rapid economic growth from the production of oil. […] Our government’s position from day one has been that Guyana should follow a green development pathway, strengthen its other industries and develop its tourism and service sectors. We want to partner with reputable international companies and we want an arrangement that benefits our country in the short term, the medium term and the long term.”
Gaskin also warned investors seeking short term gains; “Why would any company, in this day and age, want to operate for three decades or more in a foreign country and not leave behind a legacy to be proud of? And of course, why would any government not want to ensure that its depleting natural wealth is replaced with sustainable human capital and a globally competitive economy. […] We want Guyana to be seen as a clean, green, sustainable and secure investment destination. And that image is going to be determined heavily by the tone we set as an early oil producing country. We are not seeking to become the new Singapore. We want a new Guyana. A better Guyana. A Guyana that is relevant to the people, and a Guyana in which young people can see a brighter future.”
Gaskin finished his keynote address with a strong statement for the future; “The vast majority of Guyanese are more hopeful today than they have ever been before.”
Said Lars Mangal, CEO of TOTALTEC, “The energy in the room was exceptional. Minister Gaskin could not have been more open, compelling, and welcomed. It was an outstanding address to an audience that has the potential to be a significant, positive force for the future of Guyana and its people.”
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. https://www.totaltec-os.com