Trinidad Energy Minister warns Guyana, Suriname about oil sector opportunists

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 November 2021, 14:00 by Denis Chabrol

Trinidad and Tobago’s  Energy Minister, Stuart Young on Tuesday warned Guyana and Suriname about opportunists who would like to take advantage of the oil sector, even as he urged said government was ready to work with his c country’s Energy Chamber to provide services to other Caribbean nations.

Addressing the  first Policy Forum organised by the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Young recalled cautioning a Surinamese delegation against those who portray themselves as experts; a position he said was also relevant to Guyana. “There will be a lot of carpetbaggers, as I told them, rushing to Suriname and to Guyana, selling them what they consider the best advice in the world and trying to lead them down garden paths,” he said.

Major international oil companies have discovered huge oil reserves offshore both neighbouring South American nations which are also members of the 15-nation Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

At the same time, the Trinidad and Tobago Energy Minister is urging the Energy Chamber to position itself to take advantage of opportunities in sister CARICOM-member states. “Again, I give the commitment that the government is willing to work with the membership of the Energy Chamber to listen and for us to formulate a strategy to ensure that our personnel, our services and our assets and what is it we can offer, as Trinidad and Tobago, to our regional brothers and sisters can be made available,” he said.

Prior to returning to office last August, the People’s Progressive Party had been very critical about the numerous Trinidad and Tobago companies that had been coming to work in Guyana’s oil sector.

The Irfaan Ali-led administration has since said that certain areas such as catering, lawn-mowing, laundry and trucking are services that are reserved for Guyanese.

The Guyana government has drafted a Local Content Strategy and plans to introduce a Local Content Bill to the National Assembly.