GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Terry Steers-Gonzales, Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy, says now is the best time for the Guyana government to consider how revenues which are expected to be gained from the oil sector will be spent on various areas of development.
Steers –Gonzalez was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Guyana Oil and Gas Association conference and exhibition here on Sunday.
He said that the private sector along with government and civil society will play an integral role in shaping the society’s development into the future.
Noting that recent estimates of offshore oil deposits have been as much as 1.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil with additional resources yet to be quantified, Steers-Gonzales told the gathering that “Guyana is at the cusp of transformation.”
“It will be critical to think now about how best to invest those revenues,” he said, as he mentioned various sectors of the economy including health, education, the security sector, industries and renewable energy sources.
Noting that Guyana’s economy “has been doing well,” he said that legislation and regulations to protect Guyana’s interest and promote transparent resource management at all levels are key components for success of the oil industry and that the establishment of a Sovereign Wealth Fund is the cornerstone or “crown jewel” in any new gas regime, since it will provide Guyana with an opportunity to invest in its future.
Guyana’s Natural Minister Raphael Trotman, in his address at the conference, pointed out the importance of a partnership approach in the development of the oil industry and the participation of individual groups, associations and other countries which are prepared to work in best interest of the country.
“We seek like-minded partners,” he said.
Trotman noted that over the past 20 months, the Government has forged partnerships with a number of organizations as it works towards the enactment of legislation to manage the sector..