Jul 02, 2016 News
With all eyes trained on Guyana after Exxon Mobil’s second well confirmed that Guyana’s oil reserve is bigger than imagined, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman is assuaging concerns about how much of a say Government will have in the impending oil industry.
According to Trotman the government would certainly be dictating the terms and conditions for the companies which are drilling for oil.
At present, the Liza-2 well is being drilled by Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, an affiliate of Exxon Mobil.
“We’ll be setting the terms of our own agenda rather than being instructed,” Trotman said. “It’s important that we stand up, and I believe that we are doing well so far and we have had no indications of anyone seeking to instruct us.”
“But of course we are being nudged to avoid what is being known as the resource curse or the Dutch disease. It is a well known fact that some of the countries with the richest resources are also the poorest.”
Trotman pointed to examples of the “Dutch disease” around the world. He noted that there are also countries with little or nothing, in terms of natural resources available and yet they are doing very well.
The Minister noted the need to delve into why this happens.
“So it’s good to look to others and avoid some of the pitfalls that other countries have gone through.
“And for us we know that we are not going to be immune from some of the symptoms and we want to keep them to a minimum. That is why a lot of the steps we are taking are to avoid them.”
Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, had been critical of what he called “sucking up.” He had stated that Government was treating the international community’s advice as “gospel”.
Canada’s High Commissioner, Pierre Giroux, had been adamant that Canada did not dictate to countries and that what they did do was make recommendations. He had also stated that because of Canada’s experiences, those experiences are just being shared.
British High Commissioner, Gregory Quinn, had stated that there was no question of the United Kingdom imposing on Guyana. Quinn said that the UK was not perfect and had made mistakes, but added that it was paramount that the UK passed on advise that would ensure that Guyana did not follow the same mistakes.
In relation to oil, United States Ambassador Perry Holloway had made it clear that the arrangement that Guyana was entering into was a private/public one, and that even if the USA wanted to dictate terms and conditions, which it did not, there was no mechanism for this.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, had on Thursday shot down Jagdeo’s claims that Government has been taking instructions from key Western diplomats on how to run Guyana.
He had stated that all Government did was consider suggestions and recommendations.
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