A Spatial Examination of Possible Land Use Implications from the Siting of a Petroleum Refinery on Guyana’s coast

Esther Elizabeth Ugraj, Dina Khadija Benn & Rawle Edinboro

Published: October 5, 2021 • Book of Abstracts – Student Research, Volume 2


Esther Ugraj ✉️ Department of Environmental Studies. Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences. University of Guyana – Turkeyen Campus. Greater Georgetown, Guyana.

Dina Khadija Benn, Rawle Edinboro Department of Geography. Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences. University of Guyana –Turkeyen Campus. Greater Georgetown, Guyana.


Land use problems persist along Guyana’s densely populated coast, and since 2015 the rapidly growing oil and gas sector has intensified urban challenges. Given the potential for further development to process and store extracted petroleum resources, this study aimed to highlight the value of spatial analysis for supporting land use planning for the potential siting of a petroleum refinery. The study considered several criteria that may influence refinery placement, including land cover type, size, and distances from built areas, protected areas, mangrove stands, and transportation routes. These were determined using standards obtained from academic literature and through semi-structured interviews with planning officers. The criteria were ranked according to levels of importance to refinery siting, then applied to a weighted overlay analysis and map algebra procedure to detect potential sites. Two sites were tentatively identified near Wales in Region III and at Crab Island in Region VI. These sites maintained adequate proximity to the waterfront and were outside the boundaries of sensitive habitats. Though further studies would be needed to assess the feasibility of these sites for refinery development, this study demonstrated the usefulness of spatial analysis to land use planning, and the potential for fewer land use impacts through optimal placement of large-scale industrial developments. 

Keywords: Land use planning, Spatial planning, Petroleum.

 


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Published: 2021-10-05