When the PSA with Exxon was released to the public, the asininities of the contract were released in fits and starts by Chris Ram, Anthony Paul and others as they were discovered. The avid reader has never been privy to the entire contract and all its lopsidedness in a one piece, one place and one time scenario.
As a result, there are so many misconceptions out there in the oil and gas scenario. The one popular concept amongst the people is that Raphael Trotman, on behalf of the Government, had signed a contract with Exxon that gives away more than is normal in PSAs around the world, and because of the Government’s reluctance to renegotiate the PSA, the people will not get their rightful share of revenue from the oil resource that is hypocritically touted as belonging to the people, by the government.
The populace does not have a clear picture of the magnitude of money value that would be lost, relative to the assumed volume of oil in our reservoirs and the comparative value in infrastructure that would be foregone – to the detriment of our prosperity.
Thanks to “Global Witness” – an NGO with two decades of experience in exposing corruption in the extractive sector around the world – for perusing the PSA that Government signed with Exxon, and ascertaining that Guyana would lose 55 billion over the expected 40-year extraction life of 15 of the 16 discoveries made by Exxon, relative to a fair rate of returns – if we had a fair contract with Exxon.
The dynamic of change is on a surge, with pressure on the oil majors by NGOs like Global Witness and the transparency organisations in the extractive sector around the world.
This humanitarian effort by “Global Witness” and others should be applauded – for championing the rights of millions of impoverished people in resource-rich countries for a fair rate of returns for their resources from these oil majors.
In Guyana’s context, the PSA the Coalition signed is second to none on the planet, in terms of what it gives away to Exxon.
Some damning evidence had recently been unearthed by “Global Witness”. In the wake of these disclosures, the Government remains in denial mode – clutching at straws in defence by hiring consultancy firms to prove their innocence, rather than to commit to renegotiation.
KN had played its part and continues to expose the depravities of the PSA. It is time our people put aside our petty political differences and support the thrust to renegotiate the Contract, given the magnitude of what is at stake and its relative implication for our future development.
The struggle to get the PSA renegotiated will never succeed without the NGOs – given that the people are nothing more than bystanders as the Government administers the state in gross contradiction to article 13 of the Constitution.
While the Coalition has failed to fulfill any of their promises from their 2015 campaign and continues to pontificate on their old promises for this election, I cannot understand what hinders them from adding one more, politically expedient life-saving lie that the public is begging for – a promise to renegotiate the PSA. Could it be on a promise of longevity in governance that the PSA was signed, so this promise will not be forthcoming?
The Coalition’s failure to add this last promise to their repertoire of unfulfilled promises only enhances the thesis of collusion with Exxon.
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