Dear Editor,In an article that appeared in the Kaieteur News on Sunday, June 10, which quoted Charles Ramson Jr, it was suggested in the report that the Gy$10 billion spent in Guyana with local companies is minuscule. The article was just shy of suggesting that we take to the streets to protest the supposed injustice.Some facts we should be aware of: Liza Phase-1 is expected to cost just over US$4.4 billionhttp://news.exxonmobil.com/press-release/exxonmobil-makes-final-investment-decision-proceed-liza-oil-development-guyanaGuyana’s oil and gas industry is still in the upstream phase of activities. Most of the oil and gas activities in Guyana are still centred around exploration, and we are now transitioning to the production stage. (still in upstream)Upstream activities usually require highly specialised knowledge, experience, skill-sets and equipment.To date, a large portion of the expenditure for Liza project would have gone to foreign companies that would be undertaking large sections of the project.One prominent example would be SMB Offshore, contracted to design the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, and Keppel Shipyard that will execute the conversion of the very large crude carrier (VLCC) tanker.This part of the project alone is expected to utilise close to 50% of the total project cost. Also, TecnipFMC, the company contracted to install the sub-sea equipment, would take another significant chunk out of the US$4.4 billion projected to be spent on the Liza Phase 1 development.It should be noted that TecnipFMC has recently hired 10 engineering students from the University of Guyana for the Technical Services Personnel Apprentice programme. The students are currently receiving technical training in the US and Brazil. Two of the students were back in Guyana during the GIPEX Conference.[https://www.facebook.com/exxonmobilguyana/posts/368056343648872]Daily rig rates were as high as US$600,000 a few years ago, but have been reduced somewhat in the past few years, and currently stand at around US$200,000 daily.The Stena Carron was recently joined by the Noble Bob Douglas drillship, increasing the number to two drill ships operating offshore Guyana.While this area of activity may not send dollars directly into the pockets of Guyanese, since they also fall into the category of upstream activities, many Guyanese are already benefiting. The Stena Carron employed several Guyanese previously, and the Bob Douglas was recently staffed with a crew of 30 Guyanese.Several Guyanese companies are also already engaged with provisions for the supply vessels.[https://ihsmarkit.com/products/oil-gas-drilling-rigs-offshore-day-rates.html]Our O&G industry is different in many ways from our neighbours in Trinidad and Tobago and some developments further afield. The Liza field is in (ultra) deep-water, whereas, in Trinidad, most of their discoveries were much closer to shore.The location of the field and the method of extraction mean we will need fewer rigs, and therefore fewer personnel, fewer supplies, etc.However, to give some context regarding the number of wells vs returns, the CEO of Hess recently said 8 wells at Liza will produce more oil than Delaware Basin’s 1,400; the 120,000 bbl/d of Liza will top the Delaware Basin’s 1,400 wells and peak oil production of 86,000 bbl/d.Mr. Ramson, with his newly acquired tertiary education in the field of oil and gas, should certainly be aware of these intricacies.As we move into the mid- and downstream activities, there should be a lot more engagement with local companies; and further, more Guyanese should be employed — not necessarily directly by Exxon, but by the companies that will be servicing these areas.It has been discussed ad nauseam that the population will benefit from the boost in cash flow in the local economy, as the demand for existing products and services increase, and the demand for new services and skills grow. This will be boosted further by significant capital expenditure by Government on infrastructural projects, etc.It is in the national interest that we provide accurate information to the population.Sincerely,Michael A Leonard
A 19-person delegation comprising processors and stakeholders from the cassava sector of Liberia have returned home after completing a one-week cassava study tour of Nigeria.The visit afforded them the opportunity to learn about Nigeria’s cassava sector success stories, the challenges involved and the ways to improve the cassava business to ensure sustainability in job creation and the improvement of food security.The tour was the second of its kind sponsored by the Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity (LADA). In November 2016, LADA sponsored a similar study tour in rice industrialization and commercialization in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).The cassava study tour was supported by the Smallholder Agricultural Productivity Enhancement and Commercialization (SAPEC), a MOA project, sponsored by the African Development Bank and the World Bank.Cassava is a major crop cultivated by both small and large scale farmers in Liberia.Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world and has taken major steps to industrialize and commercialize cassava production. Nigeria produces over 19% of the world production followed by Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.While in Nigeria the Liberian delegation visited a number of important institutions including FIIRO-Industrial Research Institute in Lagos, responsible for research on cassava utilization and processing; Psaltery International (Ado-Awaiye); Starch Factory and Eagleson Cassava (Iseyin, Oyo State), producer of high quality cassava flour, cassava starch, and gari.Another major establishment toured by the delegation was the Niji Lucas Enterprise (Ilero, Oyo State), producer of fabricated farming machineries, starch and high quality cassava flour. This enterprise also has a cassava plantation of over 4,000 acres. The team also visited the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), a cassava research venture, to assess the different technologies available, and several food laboratories and cassava businesses in Lagos.The Liberia Agricultural Transformation Agenda (LATA) foresees that cassava will improve the livelihoods of rural people and boost the economy.“The cassava study tour was a great experience for us as processors. It gave us the opportunity to see how our country can use mechanized equipment to produce more cassava to sell on the market. We lack the capacity to produce more cassava as the production of the crop is still being done manually. Now that the government and international partners are working to procure modern equipment that will boost production, we are getting ready for the market,” said Angie Howard, proprietor of Falama Incorporated.Madam Howard stated that for Liberia to become successful in the cassava industry, the government must also introduce a policy that will enhance the production and processing of cassava.“We need a regulation that will require that every bread flour or bread produced in Liberia must contain 10 percent cassava to ensure increased market opportunity for both farmers and processors,” she stated.For her part, Gertrude Cooper of the New Generational Women Farmers in Clay Ashland, Montserrado County said: “We are very thankful to the government and LADA for affording us the opportunity to travel to Nigeria and experience how our country can boost cassava production to create jobs and end hunger.”Others inspect various cassava productsShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Days One and Two leader Nicole Forshner of Banff shot a 76 on Thursday, to fall to one over par, and a share of fourth place.Three golfers are tied for the lead heading into the final day, they are: Alejandra Llaneza of Mexico City, Stacey Keating of Victoria, Australia, and Stephanie Sherlock of Barrie, Ontario. Those three all sit at one under par.Fort St. John’s Kirby Dreher had a good day that included an eagle on the 8th. She ended with a one over 73, to leave her at 9 over for the tournament, and tied for 19th spot.- Advertisement -Kirby is also one of four players on team B.C. at the event. Heading into the final day of the team competition, it’s Ontario in front at a combined 6 over par, and B.C. 5 strokes back at 11 over. Quebec is in third at 19 over par.