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23 Mar 2021

Guyana’s shore base lacks skilled workers to meet oil industry needs – GYSBI, GM

Limited human resources is the main reason that the Guyana Shore Base (GSYBI) at Houston is unable to meet the demands in the country’s oil and gas industry. This is according to General Manager of GYSBI, Sean Hill.

Hill shared these critical points during a panel discussion at the Guyana Basins Summit (GBS) last Thursday. This was a virtual three-day oil and gas conference, which concluded on Friday. It was aimed at delivering networking and valuable insight into the region’s potential, its challenges and the road ahead.

A shore base is an onshore support facility that during drilling, development, maintenance and producing operations, provides services to the oil companies. These services include handling waste management, chemical storage, warehousing, construction, berthing of supply vessels, cargo marshaling area, loading and offloading, supply chain management, expatriate management, and customs services.

During the panel discussion, Hill highlighted that, “Human resource is a limiting factor to how much work we can do here in Guyana. A lot of the skill sets that we have in our industry are non-transferrable.” He noted, however, that GYSBI is doing its best at retaining the workforce, which will expand to 500 employees by year’s end.
In continuing, the General Manager, also acknowledged that the shore base facility is now faced with a situation where it is “impossible” to grasp all the necessary skills for the environment.

Meanwhile, another method for GYSBI to adequately support the oil industry, Hill said, Guyana needs to expand its shore base capabilities outside of Georgetown.
Hill, in supporting the need for GYSBI to expand its capabilities beyond the capital city, informed the panel of the congestion around Georgetown, and added that Guyana’s oil industry is focused mainly on the Demerara River.

“There is quite a lot of mixing of various services and products [being] supplied to the oil industry, mixing with residential zoning,” Hill explained. “We don’t have that differential zoning between an industrial sector and a residential sector.”

In moving forward, Hill states that Guyana now has to balance the current needs of ExxonMobil in its “challenging deepwater environment” with the current capabilities that exist today for the country. This, he notes, will put the country in a position to compete in an international environment.

The GYSBI official added, “That needs to be balanced off with the future plans of ExxonMobil offshore, who we know are going to be here for many decades to come. I do believe that we need to be looking outside of where we are today and expanding the capabilities just outside of Georgetown, and it needs to be done in a sustainable manner so that we don’t risk what is currently going on and all the great work that these people and companies have been putting into the industry.”

Notwithstanding predicaments of congestion and a limited workforce, Hill says that GYSBI will continue to grow and develop Guyana’s local content, while seeking to support the needs of the nation’s oil industry.

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