The negatives of the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with Exxon continue to unravel on a daily basis. Recently it was disclosed that the Bill for Exxon’s search for oil, which makes the amount given as signing bonus look like a molehill beside a mountain, is awaiting repayment from our share of the pie. Litigation costs from any oil spill or of any other nature will be booked there too.
Despite the call from luminaries in society for Exxon to correct these injustices done to Guyana, the Government remains mum. Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman, speaking of the PSA recently said that, “I am not presently advised that government has any intention revisiting that agreement”.
Being the one responsible for the agreement – it’s a clear picture from the horse’s (Govt.) mouth. The Government’s silence is indicative that they have learned the number one PR trick from Exxon when faced with the ugly truth – don’t try to debunk it and raise a hornet’s nest, just be silent and watch it dissipate in time.
The Government is now trying to imitate Houdini – the great illusionist – by instituting
Commissions of Inquiry for extra-judicial killings and the Lindo Creek massacre in an attempt to divert attention from the PSA.
Our society has seen so many atrocities come and go without any resolution. This unorthodox PSA will just be remembered in the annals of our history as the one that heralded the resource curse.
While a lot of people will support KN’s Jan 29th front page comment-”Exxon Mobil has an obligation to correct the injustice perpetrated on this nation”- I am definitely not in that category.
If I were the one negotiating on behalf of Exxon, I would have done the exact thing – get the best deal for the Company and its shareholders. It was up to the other side to defend their vested interest – it’s not war, its negotiation – no one is pointing a gun at you. This idea that we are new to oil and gas so we were taken advantage of is nonsense. So too is KN’s comment -”some of these experts, rather than provide sound advice to first oil countries, side with the large oil companies.”
There are so many PSAs in oil and gas from around the world from which the Minister could have accessed to copy, compare and drawn insight from – the dumbest person entrusted with the responsibility to deliver a PSA in oil and gas would have refrained from signing that piece of crap (PSA) that Guyana got.
If it is your responsibility to negotiate an agreement as intricate and complex as a PSA in oil and gas for a nation, it is expected that you hire help in the form of experts. Prudence should have dictated that the first draft be circulated for consultation amongst the citizens. Why should the true beneficiaries be left out?
When you put your signature on an agreement, it’s a done deal. I would not want to think that one can get a distinction in negotiation at Harvard without knowing that!
Forget about the secrecy clause! Was Exxon going to sue the Government or walk away from 3.2 billion barrels of crude if a first draft was leaked? I think not. I am certain that Harvard don’t teach people how to “smell a rat” or when you have traitors on board. Here is where your gut instinct comes in as a negotiator. Despite all that was written about the wiles of Exxon in KN, the minister shared what seemed like fond memories of someone from Norway, where the experts were hired from, telling him that “Guyana is lucky to have Exxon.” Was he bamboozled by the experts? I think not.
The audacity of the PSA, coupled with the Government’s silence and their reluctance to “revisit that agreement” (PSA) sets the logical mind to think of sinister motives being perpetuate on Guyana.
Who knows what the take is? Not that the opposition would have done better – if so, they would have demanded more than their compatriots. Remember they were the ones to install the secrecy clause and make 60 blocks into 600. I am happy to be far away from all these scoundrels.
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