When Kaieteur News examined the contracts, the oil giant, ExxonMobil signed with Guyana and compared it to the one it signed with the African country, Ghana, the disparities were alarming.
In fact, Kaieteur News consulted with several international oil experts who were all convinced that Guyana’s oil contract is worse than slavery. One expert even said that the company went above and beyond to tie the hands and feet of every Guyanese like an iguana.
According to Ghana’s oil agreement, ExxonMobil is not allowed to recover pre-contract costs. Yet, the oil company managed to entrap Guyana with a US$460M bill which dates back to 1999.
In Ghana, ExxonMobil agreed that there would be no limit to the audit to be conducted by the Government and its authorities. But in Guyana’s oil contract, the APNU+AFC Administration is limited to conducting one audit per calendar year.
Additionally, the African country made it very clear that all records in relation to the oil operations there must be kept at a specific location in the country. The Government of Ghana said that this sort of arrangement was necessary to ensure that there is a smooth flow of the audit process which can be initiated at any time.
Guyana, on the other hand, opted to give up its right to access ExxonMobil’s records in relation to operations here when such records are held in nations with nondisclosure laws.
The Ghana oil deal also features a 10 percent royalty, while ensuring that ExxonMobil would be subject to paying all taxes, duties, fees, and other imposts that shall be imposed by the State or any entity or any political subdivision of the State in respect of any of its operations.
In the case of Guyana, ExxonMobil gets off with paying a mere two percent royalty while enjoying tax exemptions galore.
ExxonMobil has also agreed to give Ghana quarterly and annual financial statements and summaries of petroleum costs incurred under that agreement.
In the Guyana contract, ExxonMobil is not obligated to do this.
The Ghanaian contract has an entire section dedicated to procurement laws which ExxonMobil must follow at all times. Those provisions are in place to ensure that a significant number of the local companies are able to benefit from the nation’s oil sector.
On the other hand, Guyana’s contract mentions nothing about procurement laws.
WORSE THAN SLAVERY
In spite of the provisions in Ghana’s contract, it was still deemed to be the worst deal in the African nation’s history. However, Guyana’s oil agreement with the USA oil giant remains 10 times worse in comparison. This is according to Chartered Accountant, Chris Ram.
Other international oil experts that Kaieteur News consulted (under conditions of anonymity) noted that Guyana’s contract can be deemed as being worse than slavery.
The officials said that when one examines the contract, its language and provisions there in, it is clear, “that ExxonMobil went above and beyond to tie the hands and feet” of every Guyanese just like an iguana.
One of the experts said, “A slave is given instructions and he is expected carry out the tasks given to him by his Master…He is sometimes, penalised for not following his Master’s orders. But there are instances where you see that the slave, after realising the oppressive state he is in, rises up and fights back…”
“Guyana’s situation is worse than this…There is no political will to fight back…The country has literally given all the power to ExxonMobil. It has agreed to be enslaved in the worst conditions I have ever seen contractually. It has agreed to be held captive by the whims and pleasures of this oil giant.”
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