Georgetown, Guyana – Sir Paul Collier, CBE, FBA, a British oil and gas expert who has been named as one of the world’s top thinkers by the Foreign Policy magazine, is now the third internationally recognized professional to publicly warn the Guyana Government against the establishment of an oil refinery.
Since December 2016, the Guyana Guardian had published an interview with Michael Boyer, another British oil industry expert who now works as a consultant with the Saudi Government, and who was the first person to publicly warn the Guyana government against investing in an oil refinery.
Boyer’s opinion had mattered since he is tasked with providing crucial investment and infrastructural advises to the Saudi Kingdom, and therefore was considered to be someone with expert knowledge on these matters.
At the time, he listed a number of logistical and economic reasons why an oil refinery, estimated to cost around $4.4 billion to $5 billion (US) dollars, would not be feasible.
He had further stressed that attempting to build an oil refinery of any kind can possibly lead to an oil bankrupt country since the operational cost itself would mean that the country would be losing more than US$0.5 billion per year in bail-out money.
However, the government opted for an independent review.
Subsequently, Pedro Hass, a government-hired consultant from Hartree Partners LP of Mexico conducted a more extensive study, and subsequently advised the government against a refinery, which he estimated would cost around $5 billion to build.
Still searching for other options, the government privately reached out to additional experts, but they all provided the same response as Boyer and Hass, which states that it was not feasible for the government to build a refinery.
So several months later, when Sir Collier, another internationally respected oil expert, was asked for his opinion on an oil refinery last Wednesday, he repeated the same thing; – the Guyana government should not invest in an oil refinery.
Sir Paul, who is also a Professor of Economics in England, explained that the margin on returns for refining oil is too small. Hence, the overall investment prospects for such a facility is too risky.