Business Profiles

Guyana Oil: Liquid Gold

You’d need to have been living under a rock to not notice that the oil industry has hit turbulent times recently, but there is a small contingent of flagship operations keeping the flag flying. Endeavour Magazine spoke to one such company, Guyana Oil, to find out the secret to their continued success.

Heralding itself to be a “provider of petroleum products at competitive prices”, Guyana Oil is the antithesis of a company determined to succeed, even in the face of industry upheaval. To that end, it boasts an impressive number of outlets, a generous staff contingent and a distribution network that is, to say the least, impressive. You might ask what the secret is to such commercial progress and the answer is simple: a demonstrable track record for growth and development, spanning a number of decades.

Incorporated on June 16th 1976, Guyana Oil is wholly owned by the Government of Guyana and meticulously run and managed by a board of experienced, committed directors. By taking control of a, then, fledgling operation and securing total ownership, the economy of Guyana was bolstered and enveloped with a sense of security and purpose and a further benefit was a sense of national pride that staff, distributors and consumers can all contribute to. After all, why shop around, when you have a premium product on your own doorstep?

The leading supplier of petroleum products to the motoring population of the country, Guyana Oil has secured itself 42 outlets (dealer fueling stations), which stretch the entire breadth and width of the country and with a bulk fuel terminal in each county, offering gasoline as well as quality Castrol lubricants, the trucking really never stops. This could be where the story ends, but a successful fuel company supporting the needs of local drivers is only the tip of the iceberg.

Consistently seeking to exceed expectations and branch out into new arenas of relevant interest, Guyana Oil also has a subsidiary; GUYOIL Aviation Services Inc. As the name suggests, this is a high-pressure market sector to burst into, but the company has done so with a natural grace an aplomb, becoming the supplier of choice for both Timehri and Ogle airports, fueling not only domestic airlines, but demanding international set-ups as well.

With a full-to-bursting portfolio of successful interests, Guyana Oil is making riding the wave of the turbulent international oil industry look easy and it seems to be the case that maintaining local focus and roots is the key to stability. With the head office located in Georgetown, the 400-strong workforce is comprised exclusively for Guyanese professionals and as a profitable public company, year in, year out, billions of dollars have been invested back into the local economy, something which is of the utmost importance to the team of directors.

Speaking about the importance of local community and rising to the responsibility of being a national operation, Guyana Oil revealed that: “Guyana oil contributes in a positive manner to national development by paying its dividend and taxes to the government, which greatly assists in the building of new roads, schools and public infrastructure. Guyana oil attaches great significance to its corporate duty to the public by making regular and generous donations to charitable causes, sports, education and social activities.

“The Guyana Oil Company is ever-conscious of the preservation of a green environment and operates under strict national regulations that are maintained by a highly-trained workforce. “We are honoured to have been serving the Guyanese public over the past 40 years.”

These are not just pretty words, coming from a company that is deep in an industry that is seen as being particularly un-green however. There is a genuine and real affinity to make a contribution to a better, greener and safer future, especially at a grass roots level. With this in mind, stringent health and safety procedure have been put in place, with every team member being given mandatory, in depth training as to how a perilous industry can be far less dangerous to work in. Even more impressive, is the appointment of a female Health and Safety Officer, as it shows a commitment to not only colleague welfare, but also equal opportunities and workplace diversification, which is, sadly, still somewhat of a rarity in the oil industry. Add to this a fantastic working relationship with relevant government agencies and you have a real recipe for conscientious, safe working practices.

“It is a privilege for us to be working closely with the Guyana Fire Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Guyana National Bureau of Standards as this allows us to have a well-trained and efficient workforce. Very soon Guyana Oil will be the first local company to be ISO 14001-Certified in the Environment Management Services Standard. It is imperative that companies manage their environment, especially an oil company; therefore GUYOIL is leading into the right direction.”

But it’s not just staff that are being considered when safety and comfort is assessed. In a forward-thinking and innovative move, Guyana Oil consistently thinks about the end user – the consumer. “Safety of our customers is absolutely vital. Our pump attendants are trained to ensure that our customers adhere to the safety regulations, including no smoking, not using cell phones close to the pumps, not pumping fuel in unapproved containers and having their engines turned off while fueling up.”

It can’t come as a surprise that any company that has signed a declaration promising to act as a steward to the environment, wherever possible, is always thinking about the future, possible risks and mass well-being, but when you attribute these thought processes to an oil company, you can’t deny that it is all the more impressive. Far from the embodiment of a stereotypical fuel operation, Guyana Oil seeks to be different at every turn by ensuring a stable local economy, safe workers, protected consumers and above all else, quality products that will have said consumers always coming back for more. A national company you can put your faith in might be worth its weight in gold, but in the case of Guyana Oil, it is black gold and we can’t wait to see what the future will bring for this ever-evolving and conscientious company.

About the author

Alice Instone-Brewer

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