Government engaged in studies for a gas pipeline as a means to complement use of renewable energy

Dear Editor,

Reference is made to a letter to published in the January 3, 2018 editions of Stabroek News and Kaieteur News, under the respective headlines ‘Guyana cannot develop natural gas without partnering with an outside investor’ and ‘Another example of Minister Patterson putting the horse before the cart’. The author of the letter, Mr Charles Sohan, has presented a number of assumptions, which present a distorted perspective on the vision and use of natural gas for our country. I therefore wish to make the following clarifications:

The Government of Guyana is indeed exploring the commercial use and development of natural gas, both for downstream power generation through the development of a new power generation facility and as a medium to long-term investment opportunity. The latter is foreseen to be realised through the design and mapping of an industrial park in close proximity to this power generation facility.

It must be emphasised that these considerations are not based on a sole conceptual vision for the use of our resources; rather, the Government of Guyana has been engaged in a number of studies directed towards the feasibility of bringing a pipeline onshore by assessing costs, economics, and implications of this proposal, including, but not limited to, an analysis of the composition of the associated gas.

As has been stated publicly, the government envisions this proposed initiative as a means to complement the use of renewable energy and to strengthen security of supply. Accordingly, data that has been presented to the government has already been evaluated; as such, the government continues to explore this developmental opportunity through continued discussions and completion of ongoing studies in assessing the future use of this clean energy source, with the Inter-American Development Bank and other entities.

Further, in exploring the use of this associated gas, the government has remained cognizant of its own environmental priorities. Accordingly, I wish to reiterate that Guyana will not make use of gas flaring. The author should revise the apparent procedure noting this position as all discussions and studies undertaken and proposed to be undertaken by the government have already incorporated this fact so that there is clarity on project design considerations based on the composition of gas, by-products, and method of bringing to shore.

I also wish to correct the misconception of the quantity of natural gas available. While the author has stated 300-500 cubic feet, the correct quantity is proposed at 30-50 million cubic feet per day. Thus, the author may now agree that this quantity is a realistic possibility for its development. As this quantity relates to Liza Phase 1 only, this quantity may not be exclusive, since there must be preparation and support planning for future industries as exploration continues in other blocks.

At this time, the government remains focused on continuing developmental work based on a specific location for the landing of the pipeline and endorses creation of investment opportunities that are in good faith, underscored by our principles of national sovereignty over the use of our resources. To this end, the management of this significant resource will enable maximization of public interest, and to which the government remains committed in directing the way forward.

Yours faithfully,

David Patterson, MP

Minister of Public


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