Private sector welcomes new wave of oil job opportunities as boon for local content

The private sector is upbeat about the nearly three dozen-odd opportunities recently advertised in the oil and gas sector as it goes some way towards meeting local content needs, according to Private Sector Commission (PSC) Chairman Eddie Boyer.

Boyer told Stabroek News that while he knows that local businesses might not be able to meet the requirements being sought, the PSC has been fostering partnerships between local and overseas companies that could see Guyanese companies benefitting significantly.

“The local business community will have a chance to partner with persons who have the exposure and experience in those 34 areas. Also, the local business community [has] had expressions of interests from Canadian American and also Caribbean companies who are obviously going to be partnering with the local businesses to tender for these things. This I consider effectively helping local businesses and pushing local content,” Boyer said.

Guyana Deep Water Operations Inc.,  a subsidiary of SBM Offshore, the company which will be running the production platform for the Liza-1 oil well, has advertised for a range of services, listing some 31 areas for service opportunities and 34 open

While difficult to quantify, it is another sign of the increased service opportunities for the economy here from ExxonMobil’s oil production, which is scheduled to begin in 2020.

The full page advertisement lists the categories and gives a description of the services. Among the listings are: Travel Agency, which will support the coordination of flights and hotel and car rental to and from Guyana for crew; Real Estate Agency; Tax, Financial and/or Regulatory Consultancy; Office Maintenance Services; IT support for onshore to offshore set up; Phone Services for both land and mobile; and Logistics handlings, such as freight forwarding and customs brokerage.

Boyer reminded that although there was no local content legislation, the PSC hopes the hiring company and all foreign companies that come here would give locals an opportunity to build on their respective skill sets as they partner with other experienced foreigners.

“There is no legislation for local content but we are hoping good sense prevails on government and Exxon and all companies for that matter that come here, to take into consideration that the local content policy is at where it is and to push for strengthening [and] also reinforce it as much as they can,” he said .

“We might not have all the needed skill sets but we may have a willingness and drive to learn with what we have and in so doing might want to partner with these people—I am talking say people from the Caribbean or USA and Canada—and bid for something. We will have that participation there and we have that transfer or skill set where over time the amount of foreign partnerships can be phased out,” he added.

The PSC Chairman said that the organisation have alerted business of the opportunities that are ahead and “it’s a work in progress.”

“We at the PSC will do our part in helping our local business community to get prepared, assisting in how partnerships can be developed and so forth. We don’t know yet if our locals alone or in partnerships will win the tenders, so we just have to wait and see how the tendering process go,” he said.

“We don’t expect Exxon to sit back and wait for us to catch up because 2020 is when they are set to begin pumping, so in the meantime we are trying the best we can to maximise on the opportunities before us and are even partnering with more experienced companies. There are a number of persons from the private sector who exhibited at the last GIPEX conference and we are hoping there is a lot of matchmaking going… we are upbeat that some local content opportunities are here,” he added.

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