Developing the Local Workforce

January 2019

Supplier Forum and Exhibition

Local content development is playing an important role in the Guyana Projects. Our motto is ‘locally developed, globally competitive.’

This past December, ExxonMobil’s Supplier Development Forum and Exhibition was held in Georgetown in collaboration with the Centre for Local Business Development (CLBD). The CLBD was opened by ExxonMobil in June 2017 as a space for local businesses to strengthen competitiveness and facilitate their preparation to join the oil and gas supply chain. The forum targeted participation by local businesses registered with the Centre on its supplier registration portal.

The first day featured presentations and panel discussions by ExxonMobil’s contractors, including SBM, TechnipFMC, Saipem, Noble, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Guyana Shorebase Inc., G-Boats, and Stena. The companies showcased their Guyana operations and procurement processes and plans for 2019.

On the second day, an exhibition was held. Over 1,000 people from nearly 800 businesses attended the forum over both days.

“We were able to engage in many valuable face-to-face discussions with Guyanese businesses…allowing us to explore plenty of potential opportunities and synergies with local suppliers, vendors and communities,” said Herve Laurioux, country manager for SBM Offshore Guyana.

The direct communication facilitated by the Supplier Forum opened dialogue and built relationships between Guyanese suppliers and prime contractors, engagement that is key to maximizing local content opportunities.

Attendees on day 1, Supplier Development Forum and Exhibition

Day 2 exhibition, Supplier Development Forum and Exhibition


Guyanese Engineers supporting Liza Phase 1 at the ExxonMobil Houston Campus. From left to right, Ajmer Samaroo, mentor Ben Byers (subsea and facilities advisor), Kenny Bissoon and Arif Hamid

ExxonMobil, TechnipFMC and Saipem Train Guyanese Engineers

ExxonMobil and its contractors are working to maximize local content for the long-term benefit of the communities that we work in. This includes engineering trainee programs that are giving Guyanese engineers direct exposure to operations. The overarching goal of the trainee programs is to develop a steady pipeline of local talent to meet the needs of the Guyana projects. The programs help develop the overall oil and gas industry by ensuring that a skilled workforce is available now and into the future. It’s also an opportunity to foster understanding of both company cultures for the trainees and for the companies to learn about history and culture directly from Guyanese in order to better understand local conditions.

Recent exciting additions to the ExxonMobil Houston-based project team include three Guyanese engineers: Kenny Bissoon, Arif Hamid and Ajmer Samaroo. They started a multi-year, multi-phase engineering development program in early 2018, which will continue over the next few years with exposure to work and training experiences on subsea engineering, start-up planning, and production best practices, among many other areas. They will return to Guyana in 2019 to become Liza Operations Technical engineers supporting systems completion, commissioning and startup, with eventual transition to longer-term operations support.


TechnipFMC (TFMC) implemented their Guyana trainee program shortly following the contract award for Liza Phase 1 in 2017. The first group of 10 technical service personnel (TSPs) has graduated from the apprentice program and are now on operational teams. Five individuals from this first group have already been offshore.

A second group of eight TSPs entered the program in 2018. They went through initial training in Guyana, with a focus on specific competencies required to support TFMC projects. The last three months of 2018 were spent in Brazil working with Liza project assets.

TFMC has worked with both the University of Guyana and the Art Williams & Harry Wendt Aeronautical Engineering School to recruit candidates for the program. The third group of eight TSPs has already been identified and will enter the program in the first quarter of 2019.

TFMC Guyanese technician Joshua Persaud supporting Liza Phase 1 scope during installation of a tubing head spool offshore

From left, trainees Robin Vanhersel, Shanette Rayside and Kishan Madhoo with Giorgio Martelli, President and CEO of Saipem America


Saipem rolled out their trainee development program in March 2017, focusing on training candidates for one of four key positions to support future operations in Guyana: logistics, materials coordination, HSE and fabrication. The selected trainees were either about to graduate or were recent graduates from the University of Guyana, with which Saipem has a collaboration agreement, or the Government Technical Institute. Trainees spent three months in Saipem offices in the U.S. or in Indonesia for initial training and were assigned to support various Saipem project activities to prepare them for future work in Guyana. Following training, they were hired as employees in Guyana and have now started work supporting Liza project activities.

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