Mar 11, 2017 Source
Government has appointed Dr. Jan Mangal, an expert in offshore and civil engineering, as Petroleum Advisor in the Ministry of the Presidency.
A Guyanese by birth, Dr. Mangal brings with him a wealth of technical expertise and experiences in the area of oil and gas development, the Ministry of the Presidency announced last evening.
The disclosure was made yesterday at State House, where President David Granger, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon and Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Raphael Trotman met with Dr. Mangal.
Minister Harmon said that a contract has been signed, bringing into effect Dr. Mangal’s appointment as of today.
“He will be advising us on the development of the petroleum industry. He will be advising the Minister and the Ministry of Natural Resources on matters of policy… We are happy to have a Guyanese possessing the skills that are now available to us,” he said.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Minister Trotman under whose purview the petroleum industry falls. He said that the Government has been engaging with, and receiving advice from, Dr. Mangal since last year. “Now that this is a formalised arrangement we are very happy. He comes at a time when we are continuing to prepare for first oil as it is called, in 2020,” he said.
Importantly, the appointment of an expert such as Dr. Mangal was recommended last year by consultant Anthony Paul, who compiled the Rapid Analysis of the State of Readiness of Guyana’s Hydrocarbon Regulatory Framework report that was facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
“I think this appointment of Dr. Mangal is timely. It is necessary and we look forward to working with him to move things further apace… he has experience from all sides; the academic, the theoretical and the practical, which is vitally needed at this time,” the Natural Resources Minister said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mangal said that he will be looking at the issue of energy generation in a holistic manner in keeping with the country’s ‘green agenda’. “It’s not only the power sector and the green agenda but it’s also about infrastructure, the revenue from the petroleum and the needs of the sector as whole…
“The power sector in Guyana also needs to be looked at in terms of how natural gas can be used instead of diesel or whatever is being used right now,” he said.
He said that his first task will be to engage with ExxonMobil officials at its Guyana location as well as at its Houston, Texas, operations where he is based, to get a full understanding of their development plans and try to match that with the country’s objectives. He will be helping with the Ministry of Natural Resources with its work with other companies that are engaged in offshore drilling in Guyana.
Dr. Mangal has a Doctorate in Offshore Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Edinburg. He worked in marine and oil and gas industries for the past 18 years in various parts of the world including the United States, West Africa, and the Philippines.
Guyana, through US-owned ExxonMobil, has discovered a large deposit of oil, in offshore concessions and is moving to start production in 2020.
However, there has been deep worry about Guyana’s capacity to handle the negotiations and introduce the necessary legislations and monitoring mechanisms in time.
A number of countries have been assisting.