Today’s column carries out a commitment I made in a letter earlier this week responding to a statement by Mr. David Patterson, Minister of Public Infrastructure appearing in the last Sunday Stabroek. Patterson reports that a Dutch company will be undertaking an ocean floor mapping “as government prepares to bring natural gas onshore”.
In my response, I said that it was unclear how much this mapping will cost and where it is provided for in the Budget. After reviewing the 2019 Estimates, I noted that the closest such an activity came to being a project was described on page 467 of Volume 1 of the Estimates as an Energy Matrix Diversification Programme for which there is an allocation of $600 million for provision for studies and distribution infrastructure in the capital budget of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.
I have since compared the 2019 Estimates with that of 2018 and it is interesting to note that the Project Code for the description is 2609800 which is a new Code and which therefore, did not appear in the 2018 Estimates…..