Emerging oil producing nations such Guyana ought to be extremely careful when receiving statements, plans, assumptions and data from not just ExxonMobil, but all other oil majors in its backyard.
This is according to University of Houston Instructor and Senior Fellow at the Columbia Centre on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), Tom Mitro.
During an exclusive interview with Kaieteur News recently, Mitro insisted that it is in the country’s best interest if the authorities conduct independent reviews of all information it collects.
“For instance, one of the things I have been teaching is that the field development plans for these companies hold a lot of data and they must be scrutinised properly by the government. The development plans not only spell out what the costs might be, how many wells will be drilled etc, but it also has the operators plans for local content and hiring, how they would deal with local communities and so forth. So don’t just accept what they say in public, but double check it with their plans which require approval. Ensure there is no mismatch,” the Petroleum Expert stated.
He added, “It is important to note that this is one of the key areas where the government has the right to say ‘yes you can go forward or no you cannot go ahead’ if the plans don’t reach certain standards. It has the power to be able to ensure that the company follows the policies of the country in action and not just from talk.”
Further to this, the Co-Director of the Graduate Certificate in Global Energy, Development and Sustainability at the University of Houston said it is imperative that the government knows the power it has at this point and how its decisions can affect the nation’s future.
The Consultant added, “So the power lies in making sure that you take the time to research the data for this project. Don’t just take what they are giving you. Do independent analysis of any statement, assumptions or data made by oil companies. Exxon is a huge company and pretty much has access to almost all information in various parts of the world and it is not the same for Guyana.”
Be that as it may, he reiterated that the government still needs to ensure it is not being pushed into a place where it is accepting everything oil companies provide as gospel.
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