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Guyana's government has commissioned a study to determine the economic feasibility of setting up an oil refinery in the country.
"I hope and expect that before the end of the year, government will be guided from an economic standpoint whether or not we should have a refinery, whether or not government should have a stake in such a venture or whether it should be left to the private sector on its own," government information agency GINA quoted natural resources minister Raphael Trotman as saying.
Trotman said Chatham House - an independent policy institute based in London, also known as The Royal Institute of International Affairs - will provide the expertise to undertake the study.
Meanwhile, the official said his ministry received 18 expressions of interest to establish an onshore oil and gas facility.
"Government is looking to enter into a private-public partnership where government has equity in whatever onshore facility is established and we can then ensure that Guyanese can benefit," Trotman added.
Presentations from companies, half of which are international, will take place this month and next.
As part of the country's oil and gas development plan, draft legislation to overhaul the Petroleum Act will be made available at year-end with consultations scheduled to begin in 2017.
Next month, Chatham House will lead an oil and gas development seminar which will include accounting and financial aspects.
For a look at refinery projects in the region, check out BNamericas' Project Database which includes: