A high-level team from Suriname and Guyana participated this week in the prestigious Newfoundland Offshore Industries conference (NOIA) in Atlantic Canada to learn from and share best practices at the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore oil and gas experience.
According to a press release from the Canadian High Commission, Canada’s High Commissioner to Guyana and Suriname David Devine coordinated the mission which included Suriname’s Minister of Natural Resources Jim Hok, representatives from the state oil company Staatsolie, international conglomerates like Neal and Massy and the Beharry Group of Companies, the Suriname Port Authority, CGX Energy Inc and the Purple Consulting Group.
The government and leaders of the businesses are attending the NOIA which is Atlantic Canada’s largest offshore oil and gas conference. NOIA, which ends today, brings together over 1200 delegates featuring leading global experts, top companies and speakers to discuss opportunities for sharing best practices, exploring collaborative opportunities and the global future of oil and gas development.
As part of the June 17-21 NOIA visit, the delegates attended the networking events and high-level meetings with key business and government interlocutors such as Newfoundland and Labrador’s Premier Cathy Dunderdale, the Minister of Natural Resources the Tom Marshall and the Mayor of St John’s Denis O’Keefe.
As part of the visit, the Guyana and Suriname delegation also attended technical presentations and toured world class facilities such as the Marine Institute Safety and Survival Centre that specialises in training for the offshore oil and gas sector and the marine terminal offshore facility which services all of Newfoundland’s multi-billion-dollar offshore companies.
The group received firsthand information that would aid both Suriname and Guyana in preparation for the development of their respective oil and gas offshore sector industry. The participants also visited top facilities including the St John’s port, the College of the North Atlantic and the petroleum show which featured varying businesses that evolved from local industries to service growing needs of the Newfoundland oil and gas sector.
Through this visit, the group was able to familiarize themselves with varying support facilities that would need to be developed to support the oil and gas sector as Suriname and Guyana. “Understanding these needs is paramount for any country looking to equitably develop their offshore oil and gas sectors,” the statement said.
Business leaders such as the Beharry Group and Neal and Massy also met with local entrepreneurs to gain insight into how they expanded their businesses to meet the supply demands of the oil and gas sector. Meetings with industry leaders also allowed the delegation a window into how the government and industry work together to effectively manage, promote and regulate the oil and gas industry.
Commenting on the timeliness of the conference, Anand Beharry, chairman of the Beharry Group noted that the consortium was delighted to again attend the oil and gas conference. He pointed out that attendance was important and would help to prepare Guyana to equitably exploit its oil and gas potential for the benefit of the nation.
Beharry also noted that his company was impressed by the structure of the benefits and fiscal packages that the Newfoundland government had put in place. The Beharry Group which is led by the Chairman Anand Beharry and Vice Chairman Suresh Beharry are in negotiations to sign a multi-million-dollar partnership with a top Newfoundland company coming out of the attendance at the NOIA conference. The group noted that a formal announcement would be made in the coming weeks.
According to the press statement, the NOIA 2013 marks the first ever visit for the Suriname group to the oil and gas conference. The Surinamese delegates noted that there was much Suriname could have gained from the experience of the Newfoundland and Labrador experience. The Surinamese were particularly interested in understanding how best to align their country’s educational priorities to ensure that Surinamese were able to benefit from the spin-off employment that will be created by the industry.
Commenting on Suriname’s gains from the seminar, the natural resources minister said his country is motivated to learn from the Newfoundland experience. Hok noted that Suriname was grateful to the High Commission for organising the visit as it was a tremendous learning experience.