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Ghanaian-Guyanese joint venture positioned to monitor Guyana’s oil production independently

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 August 2023, 18:54 by Denis Chabrol

President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of e-Magic, Tony Harris (left) and CEO of West Coast Gas Ghana, Emmanuel Johnson shake hands after signing the joint venture agreement.

High-tech Ghanaian and Guyanese companies have laid the groundwork through a joint venture to provide the Guyana government with the capacity to provide real-time monitoring of oil production and air and sea pollution among other aspects of operations, a senior official said Saturday.

West Coast Gas Ghana, a leading technologies player in the monitoring and nomination services in the oil and gas industry, signed a strategic joint venture (JV) agreement with e-Magic (Guyana) Inc, a renowned name in cutting-edge digital twin solutions, they said in a joint statement.

“The JV is a significant boost for Guyana’s local content policy as it represents a competitive, combined force of proven expertise with local participation for the delivery of a cutting-edge technological solution, which will allow the Government of Guyana to independently monitor the production of hydrocarbons from its oil and gas fields,” the companies said.

President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canada-headquartered e-Magic, Tony Harris told Demerara Waves Online News that talks have already been held with the Guyana government about offering the services. He said the Joint Venture partners could either use a strand of fibre-optic cable from ExxonMobil or direct satellite connectivity to monitor the offshore oil operations.

“We connect to the sensors on the FPSOs (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessels) and even the new gas plant that they’re looking at building and we’ll bring all that data back. We can create all those dashboards so that everybody can see how everything works and when you log in, based on your role, you’ll be able to see specific things for you,” he said.

With the assistance of Artificial Intelligence, the software driven system could direct those responsible how to optimise the system for efficient production as well as environmental impacts such as flaring and oil spills, he added.

Guyana’s Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo is on record as not ruling out real-time access of the data through ExxonMobil’s dedicated fibre optic cable in the longer term but might opt for satellite technology in the short term. He said the Petroleum Activities law that was passed earlier this week by the National Assembly, and the new model Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) in part, move Guyana to the next step of operational efficiency. “The PSA and the new law will force the oil and gas companies to supply more data to us which they’re very reluctant to do because of weak elements of the PSA and the old law so we would have a stream of data from the oil and gas companies in a timely fashion that would allow for greater analytical work,” he said. He said the Guyana government would also be verifying the information that would be provided by the oil companies.

Mr. Jagdeo said government would then issue a Request for Proposals from companies before year-end to do that “and that’s where your joint venture and the others will come in.”

Mr. Harris said much now depended on the Guyana government’s readiness to move forward including reaching an agreement with ExxonMobil. “The Vice President has publicly said that we have been discussing it with them as we have spoken with the government about our capability and what can be offered,” said Mr, Harris who hails from the Guyanese town of Linden.

West Coast Gas Ghana is a 100-percent Ghanaian-owned international company and e-Magic is owned by Mr Harris, a Canada-based Guyanese.

The agreement was signed at that Ghana-Guyana Local Content and Capacity Building Conference, organized by the Ghana Chamber of Commerce Guyana and held at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana.

The company said in a statement that the joint venture is a realization of the vision laid out in the strategic partnership agreement signed by the two countries in December 2021 and it brings together the deep technical knowledge and international experience of both e-Magic Inc and West Coast Gas Ghana.

Mr Harris has been described as a respected expert in the development of software, who set up the company in Toronto in 1998 with Eugene Woo.

The companies said their solution would enable the Guyana government to have direct and independent oversight within the natural resources sectors; and real time data enabling the administration to build its own review capability. The JV partners observed that thge Local Content Act of 2021 does not include this service as one of the 40 captured under the law, making the JV unique.

They said the capital for the joint operations will be funded by West Coast Gas Ghana, and the Guyanese company will be responsible, among other things, for the recruitment of nearly all the staff. The JV will also see their combined technical and technological capabilities contributing to building a robust local content participation in the project.

They promised that at least 75 per cent of senior management of the JV company will be Guyanese and over 90 per cent of the staff to be employed by the joint venture will also be Guyanese. The private sector partners said they would also be responsible for providing technical and operational training to the Guyanese employees so they will be equipped with all the necessary knowledge and skills ready for when the project commences operation.

West Coast Ghana and e-Magic said they have, through their respective areas of expertise and businesses, implemented large-scale projects for governments in Africa and other parts of the world across these segments, providing turn-key designed solutions in the energy and technology sectors with in-built finance keys to governments to ensure that states receive, in a transparent and accountable manner, their due benefits from natural resources as anticipated by the laws and contracts governing the same.

“We are thrilled to embark on this journey with e-Magic,” Mr. Emmanuel Johnson, CEO of West Coast Gas Ghana stated. “Our shared vision is to leverage our respective strengths to provide the Government of Guyana with visibility to real time oil production data. Together with e-Magic we will redefine how technology can enhance production processes, minimize risk, and drive sustainable growth.”

Mr Harris was quoted in a statement as saying that, “We are confident that by combining our TwinWorX digital twins platform and deep technical expertise, and West Coast Gas Ghana’s in-depth industry knowledge we will provide a comprehensive monitoring capability that will revolutionize how Guyana monitors its booming oil production. Our joint venture aims to set new standards for efficiency, transparency, and sustainability in this vital sector.”

WC is described as a Ghanaian-owned multinational company with footprints across sub-Saharan Africa. WC has expertise in creating and providing technological solutions and services in the oil and gas sector, in particular designing and operating systems that ensure accurate hydrocarbon accounting, oil and gas contract management and petroleum data management.

e-Magic is a global technology company which specialises in providing expertise and software for the design, development and integration of large-scale industrial internet of things (IoT) and Azure Digital Twins Solutions. e-Magic is incorporated in Guyana, with 100-percent Guyanese ownership. e-Magic Inc is a trailblazer in IT solutions, recognized for its innovation, expertise, and commitment to excellence. With a global footprint and a portfolio of successful projects, e-Magic Inc empowers businesses to harness the full potential of technology for transformative outcomes.

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August 2023