Landmark oil spill legislation for Parliament soon

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

The Guyana Government is looking to pass its landmark oil spill legislation before Parliament breaks for recess on August 10.

“We’re going through the bill through an intensive process…the law says any company which caused the spill, they will all be responsible for the cleanup and for consequential losses for fishermen and so,” Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has explained.

During his press conference on Thursday, Jagdeo spoke extensively about the oil and gas sector and the number of activities being undertaken to ensure it is properly managed.

One of these activities is the real-time monitoring of offshore operations.

ExxonMobil Guyana and its partners have shared their access for real-time monitoring of offshore operations with the Government of Guyana.

Jagdeo noted that through the “dashboard”, the Government through the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) can view various parameters including production data, tank inventories, downtime, power generation, gas production, safety, health and environment, flare management, and water pumped up with the crude and others.

“It’s not as though we are not aware of what is going on offshore…Right now, there is this impression that we don’t get any data or do any monitoring,” the Vice President said.

In addition, employees from the Guyana Revenue Authority and the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) are on the Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessels.

The Government is also working on independently monitoring the petroleum sector.

“We plan to do our own thing independently later too. I doubt it will change much what we’re seeing but we will have the comfort,” Jagdeo said.

Even as efforts are ongoing to safeguard this important sector, the Ministry of Natural Resources will soon have a second auction for the remaining oil blocks. Prior to this move, the administration has invited Expressions of Interest for 3D seismic data of the blocks.

The Vice President explained this move: “When you have less data, people don’t put in great bids because they don’t know what is there, they cant interpret the data so we have now gone out for 3D seismic.”

Eight companies have supplied EOIs to begin the pre-qualification process.

Jagdeo explained that the government will not be spending any money on this process.

Instead, the chosen company will be able to sell its data to potential bidders.