South America’s newest oil producer Guyana released a draft petroleum activities bill for two weeks of public consultation.

The draft bill, revealed by the Ministry of Natural Resources on behalf of Guyana’s government, is available for public feedback between June 20 and July 3, Guyana’s Department of Public Information (DPI) announced June 20 in a press release.

The bill will replace Guyana’s Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act 1986 and is part of efforts by the government of President Mohamed Irfaan Ali to modernize the country’s legal and regulatory framework related to its nascent petroleum sector.

In coming months, numerous supplementary regulations are expected to follow the bill, the DPI said.

Guyana’s economy, driven by discoveries in its offshore Stabroek Block, is expected to achieve high double-digit growth in 2023 and 2024, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Starbroek Block, operated by an Exxon Mobil-led consortium with Hess Corp. and CNOOC, holds gross discovered recoverable resources of just over 11 Bboe and will anchor the tiny country’s production and economic growth over the near-to-short term, based on reports from the companies.


Guyana Eyes Five Years of Consecutive Double-digit GDP Growth

Guyana’s proposed bill introduces major “improvements and safeguards related to safety, emergency response, cross-border unitization, supervision and monitoring requirements, and authorizes the minister to prescribe regulations about key administrative and operational aspects of exploration and production activities,” the DPI said in its release.

The bill “also expands the scope of regulation to include storage and pipeline transportation aspects of the oil and gas sector and empower the government to regulate activities associated with geological storage of carbon dioxide,” according to the DPI. “Exploring opportunities for potential CO2 storage sites will enable the government to develop petroleum resources while seeking to minimize their carbon footprint.”