Private sector key for ensuring citizens benefit from ‘Guyanese oil’

—Gaskin says, at launch of Jaguar Oil Field Services

As Jaguar Oil Field Services Inc. – a partnership between Mines Services Limited, TOTALTEC and Trinidadian company Process Components Limited launched yesterday, the Minister of Business emphasised that the private sector, more than government, plays a role in ensuring Guyanese benefit from “Guyanese oil”.

Process Components Limited will be the operational partner; TOTALTEC will be acting as the technical and commercial advisory partner; and Mines Services Limited is a key shareholder in the venture to supply locally-made industrial equipment to the oil and gas industry.

Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, was delivering the closing remarks at the event when he underscored the importance of the private sector in ensuring that Guyanese benefit from the burgeoning oil and gas industry.

“I would like to say very clearly that when we speak of the opportunities in the oil and gas sector and when we speak of local content, when we speak of the tremendous and exciting discoveries, I think at the back of our minds we know that this is our oil and some way or the other Guyanese people will have to benefit from the oil that we own. The government is not going to create all the jobs that are required to allow Guyanese people to benefit from the oil. It is the private sector that has to do that. The government has [a] role to play but I think the role of the private sector is much greater than that of the government when it comes to actually ensuring that Guyanese people benefit from Guyanese oil,” Gaskin said.

Gaskin also said that he has tremendous confidence in the country’s private sector and believes that they will find a way to take advantage of the opportunities that will be presented with the new industry.

“We can moan and groan about our lack of capacity but many companies are taking the initiative, are building capacity and are doing things. They are getting up and going and making things happen and that is the way to do it. Some are sitting and moaning but others are making tremendous progress in getting their businesses certified, in getting qualified staff, in partnering with companies that have strengths and expertise,” Gaskin added, while expressing his pleasure with the launch of the company and stating that these kinds of initiatives are the types that he wants to see more of.

Also speaking at the launch was Andrew Mendes, Managing Director of the Farfan and Mendes Group of Companies, of which Mines Services Limited is a part.

Mendes said that while there has been a lot of talk about the incoming industry, both good and bad, business managers such as himself have a responsibility to themselves, the people and staff, to look at what they have control over and to put investments and processes in place to meet the very high standard that is required by the oil and gas industry.

As a result, with support from the Centre for Local Business Development, Mines Services Limited has attained certification in several standards, including ISO 9000, throughout their operations. Those standards will roll over to the joint company.

“Whilst we could’ve already been audited we felt it was more important that this process be more fully integrated, practised and part of all of our operations, quite simply because we have already seen the benefits with the process control, objective reporting based on established measurable facts and a greater commitment from staff given they trust a more objective review that this process brings,” Mendes said.

As a result, he noted that there has been an improvement in confidence, consistency and profitability throughout the entire company, and said they have since decided to continue the process regardless of any changes in the business climate or advent or decline of any related industrial sectors.

Mines Services Limited has been coordinating closely with the joint company to ensure that all the processes and documentation conform to the ISO and other standards to guarantee the smooth transition of the company.

“We must be realistic that in the beginning it will require a particular focus like people already experience in dealing with the sector. Hence the joint venture we are launching today. Why joint? The reality is that we could probably do it on our own but it would take much longer and quite simply we find it easier and cheaper to listen and learn rather than to pay to learn,” Mendes pointed out.

CEO of TOTALTEC, Lars Mangal, along with the head of Process Components Limited, Mark Laughlin, also made brief remarks.

Mangal noted that the joint venture was in line with the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between Guyana and Trinidad for cooperation in the oil and gas industry.

The new company’s portfolio will include, but is not limited to, the provision of wire rope slings, gauges, lifting equipment, valves, oils and lubricants, environmentally-friendly grease, anti-slip floor products and other equipment. Their services will include inspection of general lifting equipment and calibration of pressure gauges and relief valves and their suppliers will be internationally recognised and provide Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) products.

Capacity training will also be done by Process Components Limited and TOTALTEC, for staff of the Jaguar Oilfield Services.

Jaguar Oilfield Services is located in the compound of the Farfan and Mendes Group of Companies, in Providence, on the East Bank of Demerara.

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