Guyana: Stakeholders agree to use EITI to promote transparency

Guyana is expected to become major oil producer in 2020s.

Wednesday 25 October: The EITI Board approved Guyana’s application to join the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) at its meeting in Manila on 25 October. Guyana became the latest country to implement the EITI, the global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources.

Fredrik Reinfeldt, Chair of the EITI, said:

“The expected growth of the oil and gas sector in Guyana is both a huge opportunity and a big challenge. The further development of the mining sector is also an important focus of public debate. Implementing the EITI will help Guyana lay the foundation for transparent and accountable management of their natural resource wealth”.

The candidature preparation follows extensive collaboration between government, industry and civil society groups. Stakeholders jointly established the national priorities and a work plan for the Guyana’s EITI implementation.

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael G. C. Trotman, said:

“The Government of Guyana has approached the EITI process with a commitment to transparency and openness as well as a recognition, acceptance and deliberate effort to foster the truth that the resources of this country belong to every Guyanese in equal measure. This EITI initiative has the potential to deliver significant benefits to the Guyanese economy through increased accountability and transparency, translating into more informed public policy debates and guidance on managing our resource endowments. It also has the potential to increase the confidence of business and enhance Guyana’s reputation as a sound investment destination”

Curtis Bernard, Co-Chair of the Multi-Stakeholders Group on behalf of civil society, said:

“I am exuberant that Guyana’s candidature to the EITI has been approved. This is a very firm step towards ensuring that monetisation of Guyana’s natural patrimony results in sustained benefits to the present and future generations of Guyanese. Civil society looks forward to guiding and contributing to Guyana becoming fully compliant with the EITI Standard”.

Hilbert Shields, Co-Chair of the Multi-Stakeholders Group on behalf of industry, said:

“From an industry perspective, EITI compliance can promote greater economic stability and reduce investment risk by raising the standards of business conduct. It also helps provide a more complete view of the full contributions made by the extractive industry; this should better inform the discussions of all stakeholders and ultimately support and nurture our responsibility to be good corporate citizens.”

Guyana is located on the north-eastern Atlantic cost in South America. With a population of less than 800,000 habitants, more than one third of the population is living below the poverty line.

Guyana’s economy grew steadily in the last decade, largely based on exports of natural resources, both agricultural (mainly forestry) and mineral. In 2016, gold production made up almost 60% of total exports.  Guyana is expected to become an oil producer country by 2020, as the “Liza” project starts production. This offshore block is one of the largest oil discoveries of the past decade, with resources estimated at 2.25 to 2.75 billion oil-equivalent barrels. Exxon Mobil recently announced an investment of over $4.4 billion to develop it.

The decision of the Board on the status of Guyana in full:

The EITI admits Guyana as an EITI candidate country on 25 October 2017. In accordance with the EITI Standard, Guyana is required to publish its first EITI Report within 18 months of becoming a candidate (i.e., by 25 April 2019). Guyana is required to publish an annual progress report for 2017 by 1 July 2018. Validation will commence within two and a half years of becoming a candidate (i.e., by 25 April 2020).

For more information about the EITI process in Guyana please visit the country page or contact Francisco Paris [FParis@eiti.org] or Santiago J. Dondo [SDondo@eiti.org]