Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Energy, Immigration, Telecommunications and Invest Barbados, Senator Darcy Boyce, speaking yesterday.
REGION URGED TO WORK TOGETHER
As the region looks towards developing the offshore drilling sector, one minister is insisting that there must be collaboration to reduce the level of risk for participating countries.
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Energy, Immigration, Telecommunications and Invest Barbados, Senator Darcy Boyce, made this clear yesterday as he addressed a Capacity Building Workshop hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (TTEITI), in collaboration with the British High Commission in Bridgetown.
He outlined for those gathered at the Accra Beach Hotel that there are several capacity-building initiatives that must be focused on within the Caribbean region.
“We all have important tourism industries. We all have fairly important fishing industries and once we move into oil and gas, we are going to share a lot of the risk involved…It therefore suggests to me that we will do a lot more to collaborate in the matter of risk assessment when it comes to offshore drilling, and therefore if we collaborate in risk assessment then we also need to collaborate in disaster management planning and disaster recovery,” he stressed.
Boyce also highlighted the area of licensing also needs such partnership to avoid competition between the territories for licenses.
“We also need to share structures on taxation in respect to offshore oil and gas so that we bring some level of standardisation to the region in respect of taxation…We have to move to a position where we have a lot more regional collaboration in respect of the legislation and the regulation that we put in place around our oil and gas industry,” he added.
Boyce insisted that as a single space, CARICOM countries must seek to minimise the risk associated with offshore drilling by not having several wells very close to one another, stating that the region must share equally without having a proliferation of wells offshore, as the more of these structures that are present in marine waters, the higher the risk for the Caribbean. (JMB)