“Tell leaders to go to Suriname and learn to make a contract”
A Kaieteur News article headlined “Suriname secures three times Guyana’s Royalty for latest oil find”, has angered vendors of the La Penitence Market.
Mr. Chunilall, who owns a stall in the market, said that he is “very disappointed in his leaders for signing such a lop-sided deal” with ExxonMobil’s Subsidiary Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL).
The businessman said as a Guyanese, he is feeling very ashamed that Guyana’s neighbour, Suriname, got a far better deal.
He added that Guyana should have sought advice from countries with experience in order to avoid such a “raw deal”.
Chunilall told Kaieteur News that he refuses to believe that all is lost.
He called on Guyana’s leaders to pressure ExxonMobil and Tullow for a renegotiation of the Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs).
Another stall owner, Margaret, who operates in the La Penitence Market, said that she too supports the call to renegotiate Guyana’s oil contract.
However, she told this publication that she has lost tremendous faith in political leaders from both sides of the political divide.
She believes that Guyana’s leaders cannot be trusted to negotiate any deals on its people’s behalf because they are “too corrupt”.
She also said “even if Guyana is successful in obtaining a better deal, its people will still be neglected since political leaders will fill their pockets.”
Uncle Buddy who sells clothes said that he wants his “leaders to go to Suriname and learn how to make a contract”.
He continued that after Guyana’s leaders consult with Suriname, they must return and renegotiate the deals they had previously signed.
Uncle Buddy said that he recently read in a news article that the government signed on to such a one-sided deal because of threats from neighbouring Venezuela.
He said that “Guyana does not need friends; it needs money.”
He gave an example of selling a pair of pants and preparing a plot of land to plant.
Buddy said, “You and your neighbour have a piece of land of the same size. Both of you want to prepare the land to plant the same crop. A man tells you that he will prepare your land for $20,000.
“You agree and pay that price. Your neighbour who has better sense finds a man to do the same job for $10,000. Who is in a better position? You or the neighbour? Guyana is the stupid one and Suriname got better sense.”
In his next example he said, “You and your neighbour sell pants, so both of you go to the Chinese and buy a pair pants for a $1000. You now decide fuh give away you pants fuh $1500 but your neighbour decide fuh sell he pair a pants fuh $2000.”
“Who is in a better position, you or the neighbour? The neighbour because you pants gon sell out first year cause it cheap but when you pants sell out, the neighbour get a chance fuh sell he pants. So in the end, you only win $500 but the neighbour win $1000.Guyana gave away the oil fuh $500 and Suriname sell dem own fuh $1000.”
Uncle Buddy said, “No! This is nonsense. We must get a better deal, at least four percent royalty if not six percent.”
Kaieteur News had reported a few days ago that Suriname was able to obtain a 6.5% royalty from operators, Total and Apache, for its Maka-1 Well.
This percentage is three times the royalty Guyana obtained from ExxonMobil for its Stabroek Block and six times the royalty it obtained from Tullow for its Orinduik Block.
Suriname was also able to negotiate a deal that allows it to benefit from a 36% tax on income from the operators.
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