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GUYANA | First ever oil and gas law conference gets underway

Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonnette Cummings-Edwards. Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonnette Cummings-Edwards.
GUYANA, Friday, March 09, 2018 - The Chancellor of the Judiciary in collaboration with the Guyana Bar Association is hosting a two-day conference on oil and gas law training development, as the government attempts to fast-track the start of oil production in 2020, to stamp its sovereignty on the location of the Liza field that Venezuela has claimed as its own.

The conference which seeks to explore the legal framework in oil and gas regulations is being held at the Ramada Princess Hotel, East Bank Demerara.

Acting Chancellor, Justice Yonnette Cummings-Edwards said the legal profession must be proactive in embracing the oil and gas industry.

“We the bar and bench have seen that vision, we’ve seen the need to sharpen our legal skills using the powerful weapon of education,” she said at today’s opening. Justice Cummings-Edwards she was pleased that lawyers from Essequibo and Berbice were also part of the session.

lawyers Judges Guyana
Members of the bench and bar at the opening of the conference.

Addressing the opening of the Guyana Oil and Gas Law Training Development Conference, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman noted that on May 26, 2015 Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro had, by Decree, unilaterally extended his country’s maritime boundary to take in the Liza field that is located more than 120 miles off Clonbrook-Mahaica.

Liza contains more than two billion barrels of “high quality” recoverable oil.

Trotman emphasised that it was important for Guyana to quickly begin oil production to solidify its right over that area before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to which the border controversy with Venezuela has been referred.

“Because of the redrawing of the line by Venezuela, it was important for Guyana to move to production as quickly as possible so that it can assert when we got to Court that production is taking place within the territorial waters of Guyana. That would become an indisputable fact for a Court of Law,” said Trotman, also a lawyer by profession.

Alicia Elias Roberts
Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies Alicia Elias-Roberts.

The training is being led by Alicia Elias-Roberts, the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies. Elias-Roberts is a pioneer of legal education on oil and gas law in the Caribbean region.

“I’ll endeavour over the course of the two days to deliver training based upon my experience…to lay the foundation about lessons learnt from other hydrocarbon economies,” Elias-Roberts noted.

The bench and bar will discuss the petroleum contract, legal and regulatory framework for oil and gas and the sovereign wealth fund during the conference.

This conference is expected to become a featured event for the legal fraternity as the country prepares to become an oil-producing nation.

Last modified onFriday, 09 March 2018 21:21