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House to Grill First Cabinet Minister in Open Session

first_imgLands amd Mines and Energy Minister Gesler E. MurrayMines and Energy Minister, Gesler E. Murray, is reportedly facing mounting pressure over an increasing amount of fake mining licenses being issued to so-called miners, and the corresponding effect of illegal mining activities throughout the country.With those reports, the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill has invited Minister Murray for questioning. He is expected to appear before that august body on Thursday, May 16, 2019 in an open session.Minister Murray and his principal deputies, including technicians, are expected to appear before the House Plenary to explain the wave of illicit mining on their respective scopes of operations and give a roadmap as to the way forward to stop the illegal activities.Murray’s expected appearance will mark the first of its kind of a cabinet minister that members of the 54th have invited for grilling.The lawmakers alleged refusal to invite cabinet ministers to grill them in open session, reportedly created rifts between some members of the Independent Legislative Caucus and Speaker Bhofal Chambers.Prior to this death, the late Representative Adolph Lawrence of Montserrado County District #15 became the core fighter and was, on two occasions, thrown out of session, having been accused of vilifying Speaker Chambers for not placing on the agenda, his (Lawrence’s) communications inviting some cabinet ministers for questioningMontserrado County District #10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah, River Gee County District #3 Representative Francis S. Dopoh, II and Grand Bassa County District #5 Representative Thomas A. Goshua, II were also among those lawmakers agitating for being victimized.Besides the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel Tweh, who was questioned in closed session, a proxy represented Labor Minister Moses Kollie before that august body.Plenary’s decision on Tuesday, May 7, during the 28th day sitting was based on a motion filed by Representative Mariamu Fofana (Lofa County District #4), following a communication from Representative Matthew Joe (Grand Bassa County District #3), seeking the acquiescence of the House to invite Minister Murray to explain the cause(s) of the proliferation of the reported illicit mining activities across the country; explain circumstances leading to granting of mining licenses in the categories of class “A & B,” specifically to aliens and Liberians  and state the measures the ministry is doing to stop the alleged illegal activities.The Grand Bassa Lawmaker argued that the proliferation of illegal mining involving aliens is becoming alarming across the country, with specific reference to the Nimba County gold mine disaster where dozens were trapped under the debris at the Gbanepea Gold Mine near Tappita.Rep. Joe said that during a most recent visit to Grand Bassa County, specifically in Districts four and five, respectively, he saw dredges on the Timbo and the St. John Rivers being operated by Ghanaians. When he inquired whether they were licensed, their response was no.He also referenced reports of dredges discovered on the St. Paul River and ongoing illicit mining in Haindii, Fuamah District, Lower Bong County.This proliferation of illicit mining activities, he said, is swindling government of thousands of United States dollars in revenue.The Ministry of Mines and Energy, Liberia . The Ministry of Mines & Energy (MME) was established by an act of legislature to administer all activities related to mineral, water and energy resource exploration, coordination and development in the Republic of Liberia.Also, illegal mining is on the rise in Grand Kru County and at least 2,000 foreigners, especially from Ghana and Ivory Coast are currently estimated to be involved in illegal artisanal gold mining.The illegal miners present huge challenges that need to be addressed from a range of perspectives. It takes place both at abandoned mines and at operating mines, with illegal miners often operating out of desperation and in dangerous conditions.Grand Kru County District # 2 Representative, Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa, confirmed the illegal mining.According to him, foreigners are reportedly bringing dredge machines into the county illegally and mining gold, something he noted, when not addressed urgently, could lead to serious environmental degradation.According to Grand Bassa County Lawmaker, Hon Matthew Joe, the illicit mining taking place in the country is depriving the Government of needed revenue and is damaging the creeks and rivers from which the citizens fetch drinking water.Other officials that are expected to appear before the lawmakers are the Administrators of the Phebe Hospital, including the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Willimena Jallah, to show reasons why Phebe Hospital is underfunded, something which exposes the citizens to risk.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Use of associated gas as base fuel still on cards – Dr Bynoe

first_img– but says no clear idea of how much gas in oil fieldThe Department of Energy has cautioned that it is still too early to determine exactly how associated gas will be used or even how much is available in the Stabroek Block, but it estimates the gas has the potential to radicalise Guyana’s energy system.It is understood that there is to be no commercial flaring of gasDuring a question and answer forum at the Heavenly Light church in Albousytown on Sunday, Department of Energy Head, Dr Mark Bynoe was asked about the Department’s plans for using associated gas produced by ExxonMobil from the Stabroek Block.“At this point in time it’s a bit too early,” he replied. “Because of the rate of development we have seen. We’re dealing here with the viscosity or thickness of the fuel. The viscosity is not consistent from one field to another. Our primary objective is oil recovery, so gas from one field may have to be re-injected to another field to increase the recoverable rate.”“At this stage, we do not know how much associated gas will be available. But to the extent that there will be associated gas that is commercially viable, Government’s intention would be to use this for base fuel.”He also addressed concerns that using associated gas contradicts Government’s intentions of going green, noting that Guyana is currently reliant on Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO). As such, Dr Bynoe estimated that using associated gas would cut emissions by 50 per cent.“Additionally, it is still possibly the best fuel that you will have available from a cost perspective, from a base load. So it’s not something we can discard. And Guyana, as indicated through the environment agency, will not allow any commercial flaring of this gas. So it has to be utilised somewhere.”PipelinesGovernment had previously been looking into building gas pipelines and related infrastructure, with a view towards implementing a proposed natural gas project. It had, in fact, been looking at various locations for the laying of pipelines.The pipelines would have been used to transfer associated gas, a by-product from the offshore oil reservoirs to strategic locations across the country, to be utilised as an alternative source of energy.At one point, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson had revealed that studies have commenced towards the implementation of its proposed natural gas project. Speaking at the Public Infrastructure Ministry’s year-end press conference in 2017, Patterson had outlined plans for this initiative. He had pointed out the regions in which the possibility of laying natural gas pipelines was being explored.At that time, discussions were also ongoing with ExxonMobil, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) and the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC), among other agencies, to ensure that the most feasible location was selected.Patterson had highlighted the factors which would be taken into consideration during this process. He had indicated, “The determination of where we’re going to go has several aspects, not only land availability, (but also include) the distance away from residence, environmental challenges….”After its 10th discovery of oil in the Stabroek Block, ExxonMobil has estimated the recoverable resource in the block to be 5 billion oil-equivalent barrels. More wells were subsequently discovered earlier this year.Last year, it was also announced that Eco Atlantic, one of several companies drilling for oil offshore Guyana, had found approximately 2.9 billion barrels of oil and gas equivalents in its Orinduik Block, verified by the first ever independent assessment done on the field.According to a Competent Persons Report (CBR) done by the independent assessor, Gustavson Associates, the oil was found in 10 prospects within the block. It is believed to include 2.505 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 2.449 trillion cubic feet of associated gas.Those are, however, gross estimates. According to the company, the total net figure is 1.165 billion barrels. The CBR adds that the risk, or Probability of Success when extracting the oil, is a 16.8 to 22.4 per cent range.last_img read more