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By Dr. Kumar Mahabir
Guyana in the Southern Caribbean is set to receive the highest estimated total income from its multi-billion-barrel oil and gas resources under various oil price scenarios when compared to neighbors, Suriname, and Trinidad. Sonya Boodoo, Vice President of Upstream Research, said that three major offshore discoveries have been made in Suriname to date.
The following are EXCERPTS of a ZOOM public meeting held recently (30/8/20) on the topic “The unprecedented expected oil wealth in Guyana and Suriname: Employment and Business Opportunities for Trinidadians and Diasporans.” The Pan Caribbean meeting was moderated by anthropologist DR KUMAR MAHABIR from Trinidad and was hosted by the Indo-Caribbean Cultural Centre Co Ltd.
The speakers were CLYDE GRIFFITH, a specialist in Oil Exploration and Exploitation as well as Policy Advisor to the Minister of Natural Resources in Suriname; DHARMINDERPERSAD RAMESAR, a Senior Petrophysicist in STAATSOLIE Maatschappij oil and gold company in Suriname; and SHAUN RAMPERSAD, a Trinidadian working in the offshore oil and gas industry, managing Exxon and Tullow’s supply chain in Guyana. The discussant was RAVI DEV, a legal adviser and media consultant as well as a former Member of Parliament in Guyana.
CLYDE GRIFFITH of Suriname said: “What we know so far is that three significant discoveries have been made offshore in Suriname. US multinational investment bank and financial services company, Morgan Stanley, said that Suriname could contain a potential of 6.5 billion barrels of oil-equivalent resources.
STAATSOLIE, together with its offshore partners, commissioned an Industrial Baseline Study in 2018, which has shown that Suriname’s business community is not quite ready to deliver goods and services to the offshore oil industry. Developing a local shore base is essential to local-content creation in Suriname.
The key challenges are that Suriname has little experience with the offshore industry and that companies are unsure of the opportunities, and are very cautious to invest in certification, capacity improvements, or diversification of goods and services offerings. Meanwhile, the local-content policy is being drafted, plans for a local shore-based are being discussed as well as Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET) centers are being upgraded to prepare Suriname workforce and business society for first-oil, which is expected around 2025.”
DHARMINDERPERSAD RAMESAR of Suriname said: “In 2008, STAATSOLIE hired international consultant DAI Global Inc. to do the Industrial Baseline Study on behalf of STAATSOLIE and its offshore partners. DAI has conducted similar studies in recent years in countries such as Guyana and Ghana. DAI has interviewed more than 200 local companies and 12 different technical training and training institutes.
A large proportion of the assignments normally go to a large, specialist, international companies. Nevertheless, there are plenty of opportunities for local businesses to join, provided they start preparing now.
Newly-elected President Chan Santokhi and Guyana’s President Mr. Irfaan Ali, have talked about the possibilities of a ‘seaport’.
There are enormous reserves of bauxite in Zuid west of Suriname (Bakhuis) with the discovered Gas and gas condensate. These projects can be worked out (since Trinidad has experience with Gas mining).”
RAMPERSAD of Trinidad said: “The Guyana-Suriname basin has the highest drilling success rate of any frontier basin in the world. The large fields discovered may be the start of a new North Sea here in the Southern Caribbean. The break-even rates for these deep-water developments are also some of the lowest globally ($35/bbl), meaning that even in a low oil price environment, these projects will almost certainly proceed. Therefore, development within these two South American countries hinges largely on the success of their budding offshore oil and gas industry.
With Trinidad and Tobago’s experience in the sector, combined with this unprecedented activity in Guyana and Suriname, our vision is to now pool resources and strengthen ties to ensure that a regional oil and gas industry is developed. The key to long-term growth lies in the scaling of businesses to cater to the region collectively, rather than focusing on one country.
Our RAMPS company employs over 500 persons across these 3 countries, with almost 100% local content in each territory. We have learned a lot working for dozens of top tier companies like Exxon, Petronas, and Schlumberger. … We want to see many more locally-grown companies exporting high-quality services and products worldwide and competing with the best out there.
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RAVI DEV of Guyana said: “First of all there is not going to be any “unprecedented oil wealth” in Guyana in the near term. The poor negotiation by the previous People’s National Congress (PNC) regime with Exxon left Guyana with a contract that gives them at max, 2% of gross and 12.5 % of profits, which in the present depressed oil market, have not even made up for the shortfall in sugar and other agricultural production and revenues. In any case, the oil funds are sequestered in a ‘Natural Resource Fund’ at The Federal Reserve Bank of New York.”
The Pitru Paksha starts after the Full Moon day, and this day marks the beginning of the waning phase of the Lunar cycle. This event is roughly of 15-day period, and is of great significance. From this day, rituals like Tarpan or Tarpanam and Shradh are carried out to pay respects to dead relatives and ancestors.
It is believed that from the very first day till the last day, the unhappy souls of the deceased return to the Earth to see their family members. So, in order to ensure that the dead attain Moksha, i.e. to get liberation, family members of these souls quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger by performing the Pind Daan, which includes offering food consisting of cooked rice and black sesame seeds. The literal meaning of Pind Daan is the act of satisfying those who no longer exist physically.
For fifteen days, prayers are offered in temples and rituals are performed to help the souls get free from the cycle of birth, life, and death, and attain salvation.
At the same time, the Pitru Paksha is also an important period for people with Pitru Dosha, which means the curse imposed by the ancestors. Hence, in order to ask forgiveness, people perform Shradh rituals and offer food to the crows, who are considered as living beings that represent the dead. It is believed, if the crow eats the offered food, the ancestors are happy and pleased. But, if the crow doesn't eat the offered food and flies away, the ancestors are not happy.
The event of Pitru Paksha is widely observed by Hindus from all over the world, and they perform prayers and rituals in order to gain their ancestors blessings.
At the heart of Bangalore city, a large 300-acre space of lush greenery and heritage stands as a symbol of the city's past, present, and future. Cubbon Park is every child's favourite park, every Bangalorean's haven of fresh air, and altogether, the city's pride.
It stands testament to the past, in terms of the diversity of flora it houses. Bangalore traffic in the recent past has grown into a menace, but the stretch between MG Road and Cubbon Park is always a pleasurable place to stop and wait for the signal to turn green. The gust of wind that blows here, and the smell of mud, coupled with floral scents instantly transports citizens to Old Bangalore, where the weather was fine, and the trees loomed over roads with thick canopies that did not even allow rainwater to penetrate. Cubbon Park is also a historical site, and one of the few remaining monuments of colonial heritage in Central Bangalore. It houses many statues and among them, the most famous is that of Queen Victoria, which faces the St. Mark's Square.
The stretch outside Cubbon Park is cool and well-shaded from the canopy of trees over it. Image source: wikimedia commons
At present, Cubbon Park is known for the cultural hub that it is. It houses Jawahar Bal Bhavan, which is a large theatre that hosts film festivals through the year. Festivals, poetry open mics, and other such shows are conducted on the lawns every Sunday. A small stream runs through the park, where boat rides are held occasionally when the water level is high enough. There is a children's park on one corner, and a government-maintained aquarium, two-storeys tall, with exotic fish.
The Park has been renamed many times in the past. It was originally named Meade's Park, after Sir John Meade, the acting commissioner of Mysore in 1870. It was later changed to Cubbon Park after Sir Mark Cubbon, who was the longest-serving commissioner of the Mysore state. In 1927, the park was renamed after the Mysore Maharaja Sri Krishna Wodeyar, to celebrate his silver jubilee, since the park was developed during the reign of his ancestors. Even though it is officially named Sri Chamrajendra Park, it is still known as Cubbon Park all over the city. In fact, Bangalore was alluded the sobriquet of 'Garden City' because of the rich botanical diversity of this park.
Art Installation at Cubbon Park Image source: wikimedia commons
In many parts of the country, governments have renamed structures, places, and cities to remove traces of colonialism. But, in a city like Bangalore, there is too much evidence of the British rule. Many of the most prominent attractions of the city are known by their British identities despite the change in name. Even the city's name continues to be Bangalore, despite having been changed to Bengaluru. Last year, the British era and its achievements were celebrated in Cubbon Park when Sir Mark Cubbon's statue was moved from the grounds of the Karnataka High Court and placed in the Park.
Keywords: Cubbon Park, Mark Cubbon, British Colonialism, Cultural hub, Garden City
Super model and actress Hailey Bieber said she is lucky to have a husband like Justin Bieber, refuting rumours of the ace singer not treating her properly. Hailey was speaking at singer Demi Lovato's podcast '4D With Demi Lovato', dailymail.co.uk reported.
Talking about her popstar husband and rumours around their marriage, Hailey said: "I think one of the biggest things is you have to know what the truth is behind everything. You know, there's so many narratives that float around about me, about him, about us together." She addressed the rumours point blank as she said: "There's one big fat narrative that goes around that's like, 'Justin is not nice to her, and that he mistreats her', and I'm just like, it's so far from the truth, and it's the complete and utter opposite."
Hailey went on to set the record straight about Justin, who she married in 2018. She said: "I really am lucky to say I'm with someone who is extremely respectful of me, who makes me feel special every single day. So when I see the opposite of that, I'm just like, 'Huh?' And everybody around who knows us personally would say the same thing." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Hailey Bieber, Justin Bieber, husband, respectful, truth, married