Government is now awaiting the recommendations of two independent agencies that are in the process of reviewing ExxonMobil’s production licence applications to make a decision on the way forward.Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman told Guyana Times on Monday that the US oil giant had submitted its application in December 2016 and was now awaiting approval. He explained that the process was a very rigid one that was aimed at guaranteeing that Guyana got the best deal.He explained that one team was hired to review the environmental aspect of the licence agreement, while the other consultant was looking at the technical aspect of the project.“We expect to get reports from both independent bodies within the next week or two, then Government’s decision will be informed as to whether or not, we can proceed towards products in 2020,” the Minister explained.Trotman said consideration was being given to oil spills and the effects these could have on marine life and life along the coast in relation to fisher folk.Two weeks ago, outgoing Country Manager for ExxonMobil Guyana, Jeff Simon had told the local media that the company was yet to make a Final Investment Decision (FID).The Country Manager explained that there was need for some level of certainty that must be exercised on the part of the Government of Guyana in granting the licences and approvals.The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is currently being reviewed, while the production licence has to be granted by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).Since 2015, ExxonMobil has announced three oil finds offshore Guyana. The most recent discovery came in April 2017, when the company found 25 metres of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs at its Snoek well in the Stabroek block.The company has also hit oil at Stabroek’s Payara and Liza fields. The latter is estimated to contain up to 1.4 billion barrels of light oil. According to the company, by the mid-2020s daily output from Stabroek could reach 450,000 barrels.At present, tenders are out for local suppliers and contractors that are able to support a number of projects for the company’s operation.ExxonMobil could invest $5 billion as it prepares to explore oil production in Guyana by 2020.