According to Country Manager of ExxonMobil Guyana, Mr. Rod Henson, Guyana is not likely to get an oil spill, “statistically speaking, it is unlikely that Guyana will experience an oil spill,” Mr Henson said while speaking at the opening of the Incident Command System (ICS) Workshop for oil-related disaster preparedness, organised by the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), and facilitated by representatives from ExxonMobil.
The opening ceremony was held at the CDC Headquarters, Thomas Road, Georgetown on Monday. The six-day training course will be split up into two parts. Part one is the ICS Workshop, which will allow participants to define their agency’s roles while developing an organised structure for disaster response. Part two is the Oil Spill Response Course, which will provide a more practical approach to oil spill response.
Henson noted that there cannot be enough training when it comes to being ready for any eventuality, “you can never have enough training the time of an emergency, [is] not the time to learn, that’s the time to act… I hope you understand [that] we at ExxonMobil and our contractors go to great lengths to ensure that there is no oil spill, to ensure that that never happens.”
Significant spills are extremely rare and, statistically, it is very unlikely that there would be a large spill in Guyana. However, to be prudent, we have to be prepared,” he said.
Mr. Henson further added that the benefits of Guyana’s imminent oil and gas sector still far outweigh the risks. “What’s happening in Guyana is very positive. These oil finds, I believe, are going to benefit the country to improve the quality of life, but it can’t be at any cost… at ExxonMobil, we’re doing everything we can to ensure that [an oil spill] doesn’t happen. We have multiple redundancies in our equipment. We have well trained people… We have… contracts with absolutely every piece of equipment that exists in the world today that would help deal [with] a response and we have contracts with the best experts in the world as well,” he said.
The workshop hosted 26 representatives from 21 agencies including the Ministries of Natural Resources, Legal Affairs, Public Infrastructure, Agriculture, Public Health and Foreign Affairs, as well as the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), and Guyana Civil Aviation Authority. Part two of the workshop will and be held at Splashmins Resort from April 26 – 28.
Twenty-six representatives from 21 agencies across Guyana attended the Incident Command System (ICS) Workshop, conducted by the Civil Defence Commission (CDC).