Guyana’s government is implementing new laws on oil to help boost the economy, tackle poverty and meet the country’s targets for sustainable development
Guyana’s government is implementing new laws on oil to help boost the economy, tackle poverty and meet the country’s targets for sustainable development.
The Commonwealth Secretariat is assisting in the drafting of new petroleum legislation in order to maximise the benefits of the Liza oil field, including an upstream petroleum policy and a redraft of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act.
The field was discovered off the coast of Guyana in 2015, the largest discovery that year.
It could lead to an economic benefit of billions of dollars and help Guyana meet the United Nations-agreed Sustainable Development Goals.
The Commonwealth has also helped to design the nation’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, which will enable Guyana to effectively manage its oil revenue.
Draft legislation has been written, including the Petroleum Commission Bill, Petroleum Exploration and Production Bill and Natural Resource Fund Bill.
The Petroleum Commission Bill will enable the Ministry of Natural Resources to implement a petroleum commission and outlines its powers, duties and responsibilities.
A workshop was also attended by senior officials from the Bank of Guyana, Guyana Revenue Authority, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Natural Resources to discuss progress in establishing the Fund.
The government will now submit a revised draft of the Natural Resource Fund Act by the end of January 2018 and present it to parliament later in the year.
Commonwealth Economic Adviser Daniel Wilde said: “If used wisely, Guyana’s oil revenue could help it to fundamentally transform its economy and enable it to meet key sustainable development goals.
“That’s why we have been working closely with the Government to draft new legislation to establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund.
“Once implemented, the Sovereign Wealth Fund should contribute to economic stabilisation, fairly transfer petroleum wealth across generations and maintain economic competitiveness.”
The Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman, closing the workshop, said: “I would like to signal the good efforts of the Commonwealth Secretariat, which has been coming quietly and confidently, building our capacities…as our principal partner in drafting our petroleum legislation.”