Ghana offers assistance for incipient local oil & gas sector

first_imgOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo presented Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo with a book on Guyana’s history during a courtesy call at the Marriott Hotel on TuesdayThe Republic of Ghana has committed to lending assistance to Guyana as the country prepares for first oil early next year – an offer which the Coalition government and the Opposition both welcomes.This commitment was made by President Nana Akufo-Addo, who is on a two-day visit, first, during a meeting with President David Granger and then again at a luncheon at State House on Tuesday.“We’ve heard the good news too of the recent discoveries of large deposits of oil and gas offshore Guyana. We should explore promptly the possibility of establishing a joint vehicle to assist in the effect and efficient management of oil and gas revenues. With our experiences, I believe Ghana is well equipped to share with you the dos and don’ts in the area, and make available fee-free quality technical assistance to you. Hopefully, the proper management of the new revenue will help finance the spectacular development of Guyana,” President Akufo-Addo stated after speaking about Ghana’s own discoveries.This commitment was reiterated during a subsequent meeting with Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Tuesday afternoon.Following the brief engagement, Jagdeo told reporters that he welcomes this announcement, noting the importance of getting first-hand advice.“I said to the (Ghanaian) President, we appreciate his offer to share their experience and some of their technical advice on issues that they’ve had to deal with because it’s important that we have perspective from a practitioner country, developing country and not just from consultants,” he positedThe Opposition Leader added that after enquiring about the impending elections, the Ghanaian Head of State assured that his commitments are beyond political parties.“(He) said that the offer is to Guyana and not to any political party. We expressed our appreciation for that because even if the PPP were to get into office, we would still need to get support from like-minded countries and Ghana has always been a good political partner,” Jagdeo said.Earlier in the day, Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, had told reporters that this offer of assistance to develop the local oil and gas industry augurs well for Guyana.“What they did was to commit to pay the salaries, the transportation and everything to get the people here and all we will need to do is to find accomodation for them… We’re talking about capabilty building, we’re talking about the capacity of the Department of Energy. Ultiamtely, the President (Granger) has spoken about the establishment of a Minsitry of Energy and so this is really going to require an expanded of talent, of persons and their skills and so on. So these are things that we’re looking at right now,” the government’s spoke’s person posited.Currently, the budding oil and gas industry is being governed by the Department of Energy within the Ministry of the Presidency.Only last month, a large high-level Ghanaian delegation was in Guyana to engage local stakeholders on areas of mutual interest in the oil and gas sector, among others. The more than 15-member team, led by Ghana’s Energy Minister and Deputy Minister of Petroleum Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, had met with Director of Energy Dr. Mark Bynoe and his team.However, while Ghana is ready to help Guyana, the West African State’s own petroleum industry, still young, has not had the best record with the country failing to use its oil boon to avert the economic crisis and deprivations its people are currently facing.Ghana has been producing and exporting crude oil since 2011 having discovered the resource in commercial quantities back in 2007. However, the country’s financial standing has taken a hit in recent years as prices for its main export products, including oil, have fallen.Nevertheless, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that Ghana’s economy will grow at 8.8 percent in 2019, pegging the country to be the fastest-growing economy in the world this year.Having made 13 discoveries of commercial oil in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, ExxonMobil is preparing to commence production in the first quarter of 2020. The US oil giant has announced an estimated recoverable resource of approximately 5.5 billion oil-equivalent barrels on the Stabroek Block.last_img read more

Rat poison in pet food has animal owners extra cautious

ALBANY, N.Y. – Pet owners were rechecking their cabinets and threatening legal action after state officials said rat poison was found in pet food blamed for the deaths of at least 16 cats and dogs. It was unclear how many deaths would eventually be linked to the “cuts and gravy”-style food produced by Menu Foods, but scientists said Friday that they expected more would be announced. The substance in the food was identified as aminopterin, a cancer drug that once was used to induce abortions in the United States and is still used to kill rats in some other countries, state Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker said. The federal government prohibits using aminopterin for killing rodents in the U.S. State officials would not speculate on how the poison got into the pet food, but said no criminal investigations had been launched. The pet deaths led to a recall of 60 million cans and pouches of dog and cat food the company produced and sold throughout North America. After Friday’s announcement, Menu Foods food advised retailers to remove all brands from their shelves, a company spokesman said, though the recall still applies only to the dog and cat foods identified on its Web site since March 16. Those cover cans and pouches of food packaged from Dec. 3 through March 6. “The recall has not been expanded,” Menu spokesman Sam Bornstein said Saturday. Menu Foods, based in Ontario, Canada, said it would take responsibility for pet medical expenses incurred as a result of the tainted food, but it was cold comfort to the owners of pets sickened or killed. “Before they put this stuff in the bags, there should be some kind of test,” said San Fernando Valley resident Jeff Kerner, whose Yorkshire terrier Pebbles died Thursday. “I can’t just let it go. Even if they just change the law.” The dog had eaten some of the food, Kerner said, and he was contacting an attorney because he wanted to prevent another pet tragedy. Some pets that ate the recalled brands suffered kidney failure, and the company has confirmed the deaths of 15 cats and one dog. However, pet owners and veterinarians said the tally could actually be higher, and other deaths were reported anecdotally around the country. There is no risk to pet owners from handling the food, officials said. The Food and Drug Administration has said the investigation was focused on wheat gluten in the food. The gluten itself would not cause kidney failure, but it could have been contaminated, the FDA said. Paul Henderson, chief executive of Menu Foods, confirmed Friday that the wheat gluten was purchased from China. Bob Rosenberg, senior vice president of government affairs for the National Pest Management Association, said it would be unusual for the wheat to be tainted. “It would make no sense to spray a crop itself with rodenticide,” Rosenberg said, adding that grain shippers typically put bait stations around the perimeter of their storage facilities. Scientists at the New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University and at the New York State Food Laboratory tested three cat food samples provided by the manufacturer and found aminopterin in two of them. The two labs are part of a network created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to keep the nation’s animals and food supply safe. “Any amount of this product is too much in food,” Hooker said. Aminopterin is highly toxic in high doses. It inhibits the growth of malignant cells and suppresses the immune system. In dogs and cats, the amount of aminopterin found – 40 parts per million – can cause kidney failure, according to Bruce Akey, director of Cornell’s diagnostic center. “It’s there in substantial amounts,” Akey said. Donald Smith, dean of Cornell’s veterinary school, said he expected the number of pet deaths to increase. “Based on what we’ve heard the last couple days, 16 is a low number,” Smith said. Aminopterin is no longer marketed as a cancer drug, but is still used in research, said Andre Rosowsky, a chemist with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Rosowsky speculated that the substance would not show up in pet food “unless somebody put it there.” Henderson said Menu Foods does not believe the food was tampered with because the recalled food came from two different plants – one in Kansas, one in New Jersey. Menu continues to produce food at the two plants.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! read more