In several oil-producing nations like Tanzania, Nigeria, Indonesia and Uganda, the respective Government officials have unrestricted access to the areas in which oil companies are operating. But this is not the case in Guyana.
According to the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) Guyana signed with USA oil giant, ExxonMobil, Guyana’s Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman, must give the oil company seven days notice before he can visit their operations. He is also expected to carry out such a visit at his own expense.
This is enshrined in Article 9 of the contract which speaks to records, reports and information.
Article 9 (e) states: “The Minister, through duly appointed representatives, upon providing the contractor with at least seven days notice, shall be entitled to observe the petroleum operations conducted by the contractor at his sole cost and expense and at all reasonable times to inspect all assets, records and data kept by the Contractor relating to such petroleum operations. In the exercise of such rights under this paragraph the Minister shall not unduly interfere with the Contractor’s petroleum operations under this agreement.”
THE CASE OF UGANDA
In 2012, the Government of Uganda signed a PSA with British operator, Tullow Oil. That entity is also exploring in Guyana’s deep waters. In that PSA, it states that the Government and its duly authorized representatives shall have full and complete access to the Contract Area at all reasonable times with a right to observe Petroleum Operations and shall have the right to inspect all assets, records and Data owned or maintained by Licensee relating to Petroleum Operations and the said Agreement.
It continues, “In doing so, the Government and its representatives shall not unduly interfere with Licensee’s Petroleum Operations. Licensee shall provide the Government on a daily basis with copies of any Data acquired in the Petroleum Operations (including geological and geophysical reports, logs and well surveys) and information and final interpretations of such Data in the Licensee’s possession that are acquired during Petroleum Operations. However, the Government and its representatives may make a reasonable number of surveys, drawings, tests and copies for the purpose of implementing this Agreement.”
“In so doing, the Government and its representatives shall be entitled to make reasonable use of the equipment or instruments of Licensee provided that no damage to the equipment or instruments or interference with the Petroleum Operations hereunder shall result after such use. The Government and its representatives shall be given reasonable assistance by Licensee for such functions, and Licensee shall afford to the Government and its representatives all facilities and privileges afforded to its own personnel in the field including the use of office space and housing free of charge.”
(To see further details on this PSA, follow this link: http://oilnewskenya.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/contracts-ug-ug_area-1_dd20120203_psa_tullow.pdf. )
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