President Donald Ramotar says that he is committed to working with the other parties in the Parliament to forge ahead with the development of Guyana’s oil and gas industry.
He was speaking last evening at the commissioning of the new Shell gas station during which he underscored the importance of the oil and gas sector and said Guyana has the potential to be a major player here. “I must emphasize that the promise that my Government has set out in its 2011 agenda for development will be delivered to all of the people of Guyana. The development of an efficient oil and gas industry in our economy is a shared vision and pillar of development by all of the political parties that will make up the Tenth Parliament of our country. Together we will work on the foundations of developing a robust economy that would ensure that there are improved standards of living and quality of life for all our citizens,” said the President. “We have to start preparing for that… we have to start preparing the human capital to meet the challenges that will be ahead of us and service what surely can become one of our most important industries,” President Ramotar said.
However, the President warned against losing sight of the other industries with a major oil find, as has been the case in some economies.
“We must guard against some of the dangers that we see many oil producing countries have fallen into… several industries and particularly agriculture, have been affected by the finding of oil and we must learn these lessons very carefully,” President Ramotar said.
He spoke of the nation’s fuel import bill being as high as US$450 million for 2011 and said that fuel imports account for the biggest expenditure for the country. But he said that with the country becoming more developed, he sees the need for more fuel imports.
“The mining sector is consuming a lot of petroleum and petroleum products at this point in time and I don’t see this declining. In fact I see that there will be an increasing activity in this industry… is important to us too as an agricultural country because not only do we use fuel and lubricants but some of the most important inputs in agriculture come from the petroleum industry,” President Ramotar said.