Three Counties Foundation – Guyana Oozing Oil Movement, was launched with grand fanfare on Dec. 7, in Brooklyn, with an aim to mobilize Guyanese across the world to ensure everyone has a voice at the table, in Guyana’s developing oil and gas sector.
During an evening of celebration, festooned with a cultural presentation, talks of Guyana’s oil discovery, and calls for unity to make sure all nationals benefit from the new sector, President, James Richmond said, the mission of the organization was to empower underserved communities at home, while mobilizing members of the diaspora and beyond, to be educated about oil.
Named for the three counties of Guyana, Demerara, Essequibo Berbice, Richmond, Guyana’s pre-eminent poet, further explained that the organization sought to promote debate and discussion about the best policies and programs that should be implemented to benefit the most needy, on a sustainable basis from oil reserves.
Richmond, also penned the poem “Guyana Oozing Oil,” to honor the new industry that will see extraction of oil in the first quarter of 2020.
“Some Guyanese may not be ready to move back to Guyana permanently, but they have a vested interest in our country, and remains open to lending their skills and talents to companies, and the country as a whole,” said Richmond, adding, “the organization looks forward to collaborating with oil companies involved to discuss with our professionals in the diaspora, how best they can get involved.”
Sherif Fraser, district manager of Brooklyn Community Board 17 in the 21st Senate District, in her opening remarks, expressed excitement, at the launch of the organization, and noted, that the group hopes to use the organization as a conduit to enlighten fellow Guyanese on the oil boom in Guyana, while using its work as a platform to bring information and opportunities to those residing here in the diaspora.
“Guyana is now slated to become one of the richest countries in the world and we do believe the economy can grow faster, creating better jobs, with the right skills and workforce, so businesses can become more competitive, and organizations, like, Three Counties Foundation –Guyana Oozing Oil Movement, can be more effective, with Guyanese being involved,” said Fraser.
Dr. Terrance Blackman, professor of mathematics, Medgar Evers College, in his presentation, commended Richmond on his brainchild, and echoed the President’s sentiments, that Guyana’s potential windfall must benefit poor communities of Guyana.
He opined, that Richmond was putting this aspect, squarely on the agenda, as Guyana experiences potential windfall, from its oil economy.
As Guyana prepares for its upcoming campaign for elections, and first oil, there is a need to engage organizations, such as Three Counties Foundation – Guyana Oozing Oil Movement, to discuss disbursing what will come to Guyanese, Dr. Blackman said.
“These energy resources could transform your life, but it can either transform it for the better, or for the worst, we need to be intentional about wanting it to be transformed for the better,” he added.
He also suggested training for young people so that they could start to start their own businesses, an initiative, that needs concrete planning, he urged.
He reminded, that Royal Dutch Shell, in 2014, sold its potential oil fields in Guyana to Exxon Mobil for $1US, after the company drilled for many years without success. Exxon Mobil, however, with persistence, succeeded with just two other companies, out of 22, invited to do business.
The evening’s launching, emcee by Linda Felix- Johnson, was highlighted by a live-streaming interactive Town Hall Meeting on Globe Span TV, with Dr. Mark Bynoe, head of the Department of Energy, as guest.
During the “Let’s Talk Oil”, in-depth presentation by Dr. Bynoe, environment and resource economist and former head of the Project Development and Management Unit of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), the audience learned about the direct and indirect benefits of oil for Guyana, basic information on the sector, and planning for the future – 2020.
The cohesive policy framework, petroleum sector development, and development of core principles, were among other topics, presented.
According to Dr. Bynoe’s video presentation, in 2015 Exxon Mobil discovered a property offshore Guyana – Liza 1 well with 5.5 billion barrels of confirmed oil and gas reserves. In September 2019, Exxon Mobil’s bigger discoverery of oil came in the Stabroek Triple Tail 1 well, offshore, expected to produce six billion barrels of oil.
Thanks, to Nohar Singh, Akoyow Rudder, Menes de groit Shanto, Onagie, Gucci Boss, Pablo G, Dan, Desmond Klien, General Shakur, Power Jam Radio Conversations, TriMed Social Adult Center, Richmond Hill Economic Development Council, Women of Mission Int., and Queens Book Fair, Inc., the launching was a success.
Golden Sugar Bakery designed the celebration cake.