Guyana, Canadian Province Signing Oil And Gas Pact

(Stabroek News, 13.Oct.2018) — The Guyana government and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador will be signing a technical cooperation agreement on oil and gas in the coming week, when Georgetown will also be hosting a visit by a 50-odd member trade mission from the territory seeking partnerships with local companies to tap the sector.

The High Commission of Canada yesterday said in a statement that Minister of Natural Resources from Newfoundland and Labrador Siobhan Coady will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of her province with the Government of Guyana for technical cooperation on oil and gas.

During her visit, it noted, Minister Coady will also be attending the events organised for the visiting trade mission, which will be visiting from October 15th to October 18th, 2018.

The statement explained that the High Commission and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador are collaborating with the Government of Guyana through GO-Invest to bring the Canadian oil and gas trade mission of approximately 50 persons from the province’s offshore oil and gas industry.

“Canadian companies are hoping to leverage partnerships with appropriate Guyanese businesses, and work with them to access opportunities in the oil and gas sector,” it noted.

“Guyana presents world-class, deep-water petroleum prospects which offer business opportunities that align with Newfoundland and Labrador’s petroleum expertise and experience. The development of potential partnerships between the two jurisdictions could serve to build strong business relationships, transfer technology, and skills development to support the growth of Guyana’s offshore oil and gas industry,” it added.

Newfoundland companies, it further said, have been servicing Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessels for over 15 years. Companies from this province have also been servicing rigs and drill ships for 40 years, it added.

According to the High Commission, the experience of Newfoundland can be a great potential resource to Guyana in developing its offshore industry through working with experienced partners, such as government and private sector, suppliers and service companies. “This trade mission will expose Canadian companies to the market opportunities, investment regime and qualified local companies,” the High Commission said, while highlighting that the local support for the trade mission so far has been overwhelming. “This highlights the willingness of Guyanese to partner with Canadians, which is largely due to the Canadian model of leveraging local partnerships through building partners’ capabilities to access together the opportunities in this nascent sector,” it added.


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Colombian Court Rules Community Referendums Cannot Block Mining, Oil Projects

(TeleSur, 13.Oct.2018) — The Colombian Constitutional Court has ruled to restrict the power of popular consultations to halt extractive projects.

Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled in favor of a Mansarovar Energy, a transnational oil and natural gas company, and against Indigenous communities in the municipality of Cumeral Thursday.

The judgment, however, has far-reaching consequences since it will limit Indigenous communities from using popular consultations or referendums to block extractive industry projects & programs in their territories.

Mansarovar Energy, a Colombian-based company backed by India’s ONGC and Chinese oil firm Sinopec, presented a request for legal protection before the Constitutional Court, calling on it to overrule a decision by a local court of the department of Meta that had given the green light for a popular consultation that effectively halted the extraction of oil in the municipality of Cumeral.

With a five to one vote, the court ruled that Indigenous communities cannot use popular consultations as a mechanism to stop extractive projects arguing the state is the owner of all the resources in the countries subsurface.

This ruling contradicts previous rulings by Colombia’s highest court in which the body validated the mechanism.

The Court also called on Congress to develop a mechanism for citizen participation and “instruments for nation-territory coordination and concurrence,” thus disregarding the existence of popular consultations and citizens’ right to exercise a form of direct democracy. Many have accused Congress and government officials of responding to the interests of transnational companies.

Throughout Colombia, communities have organized nine popular consultations, in which the communities have voted against extractive projects by private companies.

Environmental activists and territorial leaders have said the ruling is an attack on democracy. The Foundation for the Protection and Human Development (Fudopres) condemned the ruling via Twitter saying “democracy is over in Colombia after the Constitutional Court gagged popular consultations.”

Campesino communities have also protested the ruling and accused the justices of being “captured” by corporations. Conflicts over territory are at the core of long-running violence against communities and social leaders, who resist oil and mining project in Colombia’s rural areas.


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Venezuela Solicits Audit of Pacific Coast Refinery, Río Napo

(Energy Analytics Institute, Piero Stewart, 13.Oct.2018) — Venezuela has solicited an audit of costs related to the Pacific Coast Refinery and Río Napo JV in order to discuss potential investment plans with Ecuador, reported the daily Ecuadorian newspaper El Universo.

In May 2018, Saudi Arabia’s Aramco announced it was interested in participating in construction of the refinery. At least three consortium have announced interest in the refinery, reported El Universo.


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Uruguay Sets Deadline To Seek Renewable Energy Fiscal Incentives

(Energy Analytics Institute, Ian Silverman, 13.Oct.2018) — Companies seeking to benefit from renewable energy tax benefits will have until October 24, 2018 to submit details related to their projects.

Companies that register before the date could potentially obtain equivalent discounts of up to 70% of their investments, reported the daily newspaper LaRed21.


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