Pull Quote: “We have to show to the world that we can rescind these blocks and exclude those who were involved, from any future participation .”
By Kiana Wilburg
Oil and Gas Consultant, Dr. Jan Mangal, does not agree with the private sector’s view that the State Asset Recovery Agency (SAR
A)’s probe of how the Canje and Kaieteur oil blocks were awarded to four inexperienced firms will scare away investors.
In fact, Dr. Mangal told Kaieteur News that the probe would set the tone for Guyana’s oil industry, and indicate to the international community that Guyana is transitioning to a rules-based country where corruption will be not be tolerated.
Dr. Mangal said, “The issue before us is an obvious one. Everyone in the industry knows Guyana has been defrauded with the Canje and Kaieteur Blocks. Whenever you see illegitimate companies and individuals being awarded blocks around the world, you know something is wrong. However, those who benefit from this type of fraud will say Guyana should not rescind the blocks and that Guyana will scare away investors (and there are many of these beneficiaries of fraud, outside and inside of Guyana).”
The Oil Consultant said that those who want to see things done properly and want to see Guyana prosper will be against these types of awards which defraud countries around the world. Also, when there has been fraud like the one that occurred in Guyana, Dr. Mangal stressed that it attracts even more bad investors. He told Kaieteur News that it attracts the nasty exploitative investors, which Guyana does not need. The former Presidential Advisor said that these frauds are like blood in the sea for sharks.
Expounding further on this matter, Dr. Mangal said, “The good investors are scared away because they cannot compete with the bad investors. We need to stop attracting sharks and start attracting the good investors. We have to show to the world that we can rescind these blocks and exclude those who were involved, from any future participation.”
He added, “So contrary to what the private sector has said, it is quite the opposite. We will not scare off the investors, but will actually attract many more investors who are genuine. If Guyana’s probe of these awards -which I am sure robbed Guyana of hundreds of millions and possibly billions of U.S. dollars – is successful, and these awards are rescinded, it will send a positive sign to the international community that Guyana is a rules-based country and that there is a level playing field for investors.”
“But if SARA’s investigation becomes a political witch-hunt against the PPP, and the awards are not rescinded, then this will be viewed as a complete failure,” Dr. Mangal concluded.
CANJE BLOCK OPERATORS
The company to which former President Donald Ramotar signed away the Canje Block was Mid-Atlantic Oil and Gas. Then JHI Associates Inc. farmed in (or bought in) right after. The block was awarded on March 4, 2015 to Mid-Atlantic.
JHI was only registered in Guyana on May 4, and it bought into the block on May 15. It seems JHI was created from nothing, as its archived website only started working and listing managers, including John Cullen, on June 10. The general election was on May 11, 2015.
According to documents held by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Secretariat, JHI was only incorporated on June 17, 2015, in the British Virgin Islands. This nation is under no obligation to provide countries like Guyana with tax information of companies registered there.
And even though Mid-Atlantic Oil and Gas was incorporated here on April 8, 2013, both companies were in one-on-one negotiations with the PPP government for the oil block one month before, that is, March 2013. This means that the individuals behind the companies were asking for oil blocks without having a company being formed as yet.
What is also significant to note, is that the Canje block is the only asset that these two companies have to date. Additionally, JHI and Mid-Atlantic, which participated in Guyana’s EITI reporting process, failed to submit their audited financial statements for review.
JHI also failed to submit information on its beneficial owners. The EITI report lists Kamal
Dookie as the beneficial owner of Mid-Atlantic.
THE KAIETEUR BLOCK
Ramotar awarded the Kaieteur Block to Ratio Energy Limited and Ratio Guyana on April 28, 2015. Both companies are registered at the same offices in Prashad Nagar and Gibraltar, Israel.
Ratio Guyana does not have a website, but on the Kaieteur Block’s Production Sharing Agreement (PSA), a Ryan Pereira is signed on as the Company Secretary, Director and General Partner of the company.
It also should be noted that Mr. Ryan Pereira is a long-time miner in Guyana with no track record in oil. Yet, the last government awarded him (Cataleya Energy) 50% of the block. He recently funded a project in the Rupununi for the Ministry of Natural Resources. He seems to have a close working relationship with past and present Ministry officials.
The Ratio duo’s only asset remains the Kaieteur Block. Not a trace of evidence can be found to prove that it has years of experience in the exploration of oil and gas. (See link for PSA: https://resourcecontracts.org/contract/ocds-591adf-2701587320/view#/pdf)
Ratio Energy, which also calls itself Ratio Petroleum is chaired by Ligad Rotlevy. With the Kaieteur Block in hand in 2015, this Israeli company was able to capture three other blocks.
In 2017, it was able to acquire rights in Suriname’s basin, specifically for Block 47. In June 2016, Ratio Petroleum was granted a licence to operate in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Ireland.
In October 2018, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and Ratio entered into a Production Sharing Agreement, for oil exploration in an offshore section of Philippines continental shelf, known as SC 76.
But Ratio does not have a track record of producing any oil in deepwater or anywhere, nor does it have the required assets to do so.
Of its four assets, Guyana’s Kaieteur Block is its largest. (See website link for more information: https://www.ratiopetroleum.com/en/about/ratio-petroleum/)
This newspaper understands that the Kaieteur Block operators did not submit their audited financial statements and documents regarding beneficial ownership for Guyana’s EITI report. The dates of incorporation for the two Kaieteur Block operators were also not provided to EITI. (See link for full report: https://gyeiti.org/wp-content/uploads/FinalGYEITIReport-FY2017.pdf)
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