Oct 15, 2020 Editorial
Kaieteur News – As we recently revealed, Westmount Energy Ltd of the UK bought 1,550,000 shares from JHI, which was one of the groups that was secretly gifted a sizable piece of the Canje Oil Block. This investment by the UK firm represents 61.8 per cent of its assets at the close of 2019. Something is wrong here, terribly wrong on several accounts.
When any international investment company of standing makes such a huge share purchase, it had to have had comprehensive access to all underlying documents relative to the rich Canje Oil Block. Companies with investment records to uphold in the highly competitive environment of portfolio management and investment expertise do not go about their business blindly. Information is crucial, and the more the better for wiser, more prudent decision-making. Westmount Energy had to be in that position, would have demanded it, as a non-negotiable component of any investment weighed and measured.
This means that the movers and shakers at Westmount Energy would have been privy to the entirety of the geologic and engineering bases, and all other related studies, behind the prospects of the Canje Block, as well as detailed information on financial prospectsand its principal shareholders. This would have been through Offering Circular, Offering Memorandum, or prospectus, as available.
This is said because the Westmount(s) of the world do NOT invest whimsically. They invest carefully, which means that the Canje Oil Block is a sure thing, which explains the company’s 61.8 percent asset holding, this betting of almost the whole house on one prospect. At that percentage, there is an incredible level of confidence on Westmount’s part, which conveys that the returns are as good as guaranteed. In such circumstances, the skills and prowess of a stellar investment manager are not of the highest premium, since even a dunce or a dummy could – and would – look good by making good on such a huge roll of the dice on Guyana’s reportedly fabulously rich Canje Oil Block.
This is both good and bad. It is good for Westmount Energy Ltd. and its well-placed investors. It is infinitely bad for Guyana and Guyanese citizens. This is happening all the way over in Europe, with investment strangers, but here in Guyana, all Guyanese are kept in the dark about any details, any documents, any directions and decisions relative to that same Canje Oil Block and its similarly enchanting sister, the Kaieteur Block.
We at this publication have a serious problem with this Canje Oil Block, and its latest disposition on which we focus fiercely today. If Westmount Energy is afforded what had to be comprehensive and complete access to all documents and underpinnings concerning the Canje Oil Block, what about us here in Guyana? Why are Guyanese citizens and owners of this Canje Oil Block not treated with the same courtesies and standards? Why are we not given any information or any access to what we need to know? Why are probing Guyanese inquirers and potential Guyanese investors locked out and treated like lepers with what belongs to them?
Moreover, why are our financial heavyweights in the beverage industry, the agricultural sector, the manufacturing and commercial realms not invited to bid, even to know anything, about the Canje Oil Block? And why were the mysterious and hidden people, local political and familial cronies and conspirators all, were so criminally considered, secretly invited, and given their orders under the table through backdoor arrangements? Who in the political leadership ranks, the ones who had to have made such far reaching decisions, connived and came up with arrangements that plundered Guyana’s oil wealth for their own benefit (and their future generations) and cheated Guyanese poor, vulnerable, hopeful?
We would be interested in what PPP leaders have to say about this. We still want to hear from APNU leaders something, anything, on this. The standing problem is that nothing is forthcoming about the Canje Block, and of which the same could be said for its Kaieteur sibling. PPP and APNU+AFC leaders are loud and assertive on everything else, but on Canje and Kaieteur, they pretend dumbness and impotence.
Guyanese deserve better. We are not even treated as outside children. We are outcasts in our land and with our own oil.
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