ExxonMobil has indicated that it will not recover any of the money it has spent on donations, sponsorships and other contributions to various local organisations, in fulfillment of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
According to the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for the Stabroek Block, that Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, signed with ExxonMobil, on government’s behalf, the company’s subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), was granted the privilege of recovering funds that it has channeled into donations.
That controversial PSA was signed the year after Esso made its first discovery in May 2015.
The list of things that the government has pre-approved for Esso to include in cost recovery is quite long.
On that list, there is a small list of items ExxonMobil may want to include in cost recovery; that is subject to the approval of Minister Trotman. This list can be found in Annex C of the contract.
It reads, “Cost recoverable only with approval of the minister: Commissions paid to intermediaries by the contractor; donations and contributions to organisations in Guyana and expenditure on research into and development of new equipment, material and techniques for use in searching for developing and producing petroleum which will be of benefit to petroleum operations.”
In an interview with Kaieteur News, ExxonMobil’s Public and Government Affairs Advisor, Janelle Persaud was asked whether the company will recover the donations made in the fulfillment of its CSR, Persaud said “ExxonMobil Guyana considers these strategic investments in the community and does not intend to recover such costs.”
Many businesses place importance on CSR as a way to self-regulate social accountability to their stakeholders. And since 2015, Exxon has made a series of donations to local organizations.
Just last Monday, it announced that a contribution was made to the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Guyana for the completion of its Gasifier project.
Asked just how much the company has contributed, Persaud said, “Since 2015, we have contributed about US$3.6 M, approximately $732M Guyanese dollars to various projects.”
Speaking about its CSR, Persaud said, “ExxonMobil Guyana continually seeks to contribute to the social and economic progress of communities in which we operate and has made contributions to various programmes under STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education, women, youth and community empowerment as well as environmental sustainability.”
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