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GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Apr 06 2017 – The United States says it is committed to providing assistance to countries like Guyana that are in the early stages of developing an oil and gas industry.

A delegation from the US Department of State’s Energy Governance and Capacity Initiative (EGCI) Wednesday held talks with Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams.

A government statement issued after the talks noted that Washington is “committed to building infrastructural and institutional databases as well as to providing technical assistance to countries that are in the early stages of developing an oil and gas industry.

“The team has committed to assisting in the oil and gas initiative as well as making observations on existing practices. The team hopes to subsequently make recommendations based on their observations to further achieve this goal.”

It said the delegation also agreed with the Attorney General that an excellent regulatory framework is needed for the petroleum industry.

“This should be complemented by specialists in every field including specialist accountants. The E-governance Bill will bear directly on the petroleum industry.”

Williams said that the Guyana Government is committed to developing the oil and gas industry by utilising highly trained specialists and experts and alluded to the recent appointment of Dr. Jan Mangal as the Adviser on Petroleum to the President.

He said government intends to establish a sovereign wealth fund to enable the country to obtain long-term investment and financial benefits from it oil and mineral resources. The fund will significantly benefit the country’s economy and citizens.

The team will be in the country from April 5-12, 2017 to report to the Government of Guyana on its deliverables under its work plan, among other things, the statement noted.

Late last month, President David Granger reiterated his government’s commitment to the development of the country’s oil and gas sector, promising that there will be an atmosphere of transparency and trust.

The US-based oil company, ExxonMobil affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd have in the past few months announced oil discoveries at Liza and Payara.

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