Over fifty persons benefited from oil spill management training over the last three days which was facilitated by ExxonMobil.
The Department of Public Information (DPI) said that the course concluded with a demonstration of how various tools are used in an oil spill.
The training took place at the Splashmins Resort on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway.
Exxon’s Country Manager Rod Henson told DPI this is the second oil spill response training facilitated by the oil giant for the year. “This is one of the ongoing efforts that ExxonMobil is doing: capacity building efforts and partnership efforts with the various stakeholder groups,” he stated.
DPI said that representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and coastal Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs) were among the participants in the three-day course.
This recent training is part of Exxon’s global training.
“We’ve had this course for 10 years we’ve trained over 2,000 people so we’re very happy to bring that to Guyana,” Henson said.
Henson assured that Exxon “is committed to operations that are safe and respect the environment”.
Marissa Foster, a Petroleum Geologist with the Petroleum Department at the
Ministry of Natural Resources told DPI that the “intense” training helps her department in the preparation of policies.
“We’re preparing for the sector so we have a lot of policies and systems we’re putting in place. So, it gives us an idea of how things are done on the international scene,” Foster said.
Coast Guard Lance Corporal, Dexter Sealey noted this was his first time being exposed to this level of training. “It’s good for the Coast Guard because we will have the equipment so that we can do quick response to oil spill,” he noted.
Also participating in the training were companies in the industry, DPI said. Ryan Hemraj, Logistics Officer of Guyana Shore Base Incorporated said the training was vital to the work of the Shore Base Facility located in Huston, EBD.
This recent exercise was done in partnership with the Guyana Civil Defence Commission. DPI said that Director General of the CDC, Colonel (retd.) Chabilall Ramsarup called for more training on what equipment is used in oil spills.
“I hope this is not the end of it. I would like to see some more broad-based training particular for Regions Two and One because according to the modelling if there is a spill those are the likely areas that will be hit,” Ramsarup said.
More importantly, the training is integral to Guyana’s development of an oil spill response plan, Ramsarup noted. “We’re not just talking about booms and other types of equipment, people must get hands-on (experience) they must see what it is and understand how to operate it,” he added.