Ministry of Natural Resources clarifies on potential use of Suriname refinery


GEORGETOWN, Guyana- The Ministry of Natural Resources notes the article published by news outlet Demerara Waves headlined ‘Suriname unprepared to refine Guyana’s oil’ yesterday’s March 6, 2017 and in the Kaieteur News headlined ‘Suriname refinery unable to process Guyana’s oil type – Boss’ in today’s March 7, 2017 edition.

While we do not dispute the statements emanating from the Suriname publication De Ware Tijd and republished by Demerara Waves and Kaieteur News, it is apposite to note that during Thursday’s March 2, 2017 breakfast engagement, Minister Trotman was speaking based on the best information available to him at that time.

During that event, Minister Trotman also pointed out that Government Ministers were informed on Tuesday February 28, 2017 that Suriname had indicated a willingness to do refining for Guyana since their refinery is operating below full capacity.

The Minister said clearly that no decision has been made in terms of where Guyana’s oil would be refined. He reminded the journalists that Cabinet had approved a consultancy whose report will guide the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana on the way forward on the matter of an oil refinery for the country.

He noted that there had also been some recent overtures from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for the refining of Guyana’s oil. He said he expects that a formal proposal to be made from Trinidad and Tobago in this regard.

Minister Trotman made the point that the current below optimum operating positions of Suriname and Trinidad bring into stark focus the need for Guyana to be careful in considering whether or not to have a refinery.

Further, the question was asked during the breakfast engagement whether Trinidad or Suriname would have had to do any retrofitting to be able to refine the grade of oil Guyana will be producing. By virtue of this question being asked, and answer  given, it is clear that there are still unknowns about the technical aspects of the potential refining arrangement between Guyana and its neighbours.

We are appreciative of the media’s attention on this issue and we will endeavour to seek clarity from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the potential utility of the Suriname refinery.

March 7, 2017

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