GUYANA has received US$55 million for its first lift/ the country’s first million barrels of oil, which was sold to Shell Western Supply and Trading Limited, late last month.
The money, as mandated by law, was deposited in the Natural Resources Fund (NRF), which is in the United States of America’s Federal Reserve Bank. This was disclosed by Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, who was at the time speaking about the possibility of accessing the fund, as a last resort, for Guyana’s response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The fund has US$55 million from the first one million barrels of oil…it will not be available to the government in this period, but it will be available to a successive government,” said Jordan during an interview with the National Communications Network (NCN), on Thursday.
Considering that Guyana is still going through its electoral process and that Parliament has been dissolved, Jordan explained that the fund might be considered a source of funding after the activation of Parliament. He said there is no discretion when it comes to the utilisation of the funds since, according to the NRF Act, there has to be parliamentary approval before the funds can be accessed.
President David Granger had signed into law the Natural Resources Fund Act No. 12 of 2019, which was passed by the National Assembly. The Act provides the legal framework for establishment of the Natural Resources Fund, which will manage the natural resource wealth of Guyana. Guyana’s natural resource wealth had been bolstered by the addition of the oil and gas sector. ExxonMobil’s affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, is the operator of the 6.6 million acres Stabroek Block and holds 45 per cent interest in the Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Limited holds 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds 25 per cent interest.