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Jagdeo reaffirms nation’s preparedness for oil spill management

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Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has strongly reaffirmed Guyana’s readiness to manage potential oil spills, emphasizing that the development of the nation’s oil and gas sector will not be hindered by groups with partisan interests.


Amid growing concerns about oil spills and Guyana’s preparedness to address such emergencies, Vice President Jagdeo outlined several steps taken to mitigate these risks.

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

He accused certain local groups, allegedly backed by foreign lobbies and international organizations, of attempting to thwart the country’s oil and gas progress. These organizations, he argued, aim to hinder development in small, developing nations to maintain their global dominance in fossil fuel production.

“There is a coordinated effort by some international entities to block the development of our oil and gas sector,” Jagdeo stated.

“Their agenda seems selfish, intending to preserve the market for themselves while using environmental concerns as a facade to block progress in developing countries,” he also said.


Vice President Jagdeo emphasized that Guyana has significantly increased its capacity to address oil spills.

Head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Khemraj Parsram has clarified the application of the strict liability clause within the Environmental Protection Act, which holds permit holders fully accountable for any pollution caused without needing proof of fault.

Parsram explained that the EPA follows guidelines from international regulatory bodies to estimate the reasonable cost of an oil spill, resulting in a US$2 billion guarantee for the Stabroek block.

This figure, he noted, is a baseline and could increase with further developments. ExxonMobil and its partners, Hess and CNOOC, are required to provide annual liquidity declarations and maintain capping stacks in the country, essential for controlling hydrocarbon flow in the event of a spill. They must also maintain a subscription to another capping stack and undergo regular inspections of their blowout preventers to ensure functionality.

Additionally, ExxonMobil is required to monitor environmental effects, ensuring compliance with regulations by tracking the impact of its discharges and emissions on water quality and biodiversity.


Jagdeo announced that new legislation is being drafted to further enhance Guyana’s capabilities.

“We have mandated Exxon to develop their local capacity to quickly address any spill,” he said, underscoring that the measures taken by Guyana surpass those of many other countries.


Despite achieving net-zero emissions, Guyana continues to pursue a Low Carbon Development Strategy aimed at sustainable resource utilization. Recognizing the value of standing forests, Guyana supports financial mechanisms that value forest services through initiatives like the carbon market.

Guyana’s advocacy has led to the issuance of 33.4 million tons of carbon credits, generating $750 million from 2016 to 2030. The country aims for over 80 per cent reliance on renewable energy by 2030, funded partially by oil and gas revenues.

Jagdeo affirmed that Guyana will develop its oil and gas sector in an environmentally safe manner, rejecting the notion that it must remain in a “low emission and low income” cycle. He criticized the global community for not adequately supporting the transition to net-zero emissions, highlighting unmet financial pledges and the ambiguous functionality of the Loss and Damage Fund from COP27.


In light of insufficient global action, Jagdeo stressed the importance of a balanced national development strategy. Guyana’s approach includes exploiting national resources to fund key developmental imperatives such as education and healthcare while transitioning to a net-zero economy.

“Nationally defined plans by developing countries are increasingly becoming the more attractive model to balance the global push to net-zero and the right to development,” Jagdeo concluded.


Jagdeo pointed out that despite the significant environmental and economic efforts, there have been several local attempts, supported by international aid, to block projects such as the gas-to-energy project. He also noted efforts to spread fear about oil spills and questioned Guyana’s capacity to address them.


Guyana’s commitment to a clean energy transition is evident, aiming for over 80 percent reliance on renewable energy by 2030, funded in part by revenues from oil and gas resources. This ambitious goal aligns with Guyana’s broader Low Carbon Development Strategy, which promotes sustainable resource utilization for inclusive and equitable development.

Recognizing the environmental value of standing forests, Guyana is at the forefront of supporting financial mechanisms that appropriately value forest services through the carbon market. The country co-chairs the carbon markets working group of the Forest & Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP), which consists of 30 countries. Through this partnership, Guyana is working to build high-quality carbon markets to allow forested communities and countries to prosper while keeping nature intact.

Jagdeo underscored that Guyana’s efforts and strategies are essential to break the cycle of “low emission and low income” and to achieve sustainable development that benefits all citizens.

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