Mar 12, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – For five years, Guyanese have heard varying accounts from previous and current government officials about the billions of dollars the nation is poised to receive from the exploitation of its oil resources. But what continues to be withheld from citizens is evidence to support such claims. Making these and other assertions in his most recent column on the state of affairs in Guyana is Director of Financial Analysis at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), Tom Sanzillo.
Sanzillo said there is a crying need for more transparency in Guyana’s oil industry while noting that he is left to wonder for how long Guyanese will continue to accept this level of non-disclosure. The IEEFA Director said years after the Stabroek Block deal was struck with ExxonMobil and its partners, Hess Corporation and CNOOC/NEXEN, Guyanese remain in the dark about the anticipated revenues from the project, how much it costs the country to obtain its share, and the size of its share compared to ExxonMobil’s.
Sanzillo wrote, “…The many stories filling the airwaves today about Guyana often chatter about earnings in the billions with spending only in the millions. There is, however, no publicly available government or corporate financial disclosures to check these rumors beyond mere gossip.”
The IEEFA Director added, “Five years after the signing of the contract, public disclosure at a higher level is important for ExxonMobil’s shareholders who have to be concerned about the company’s weak position and for Guyanese who are interested in what their government is doing with their money.”
Further to this, Sanzillo noted that the oil deal with ExxonMobil requires several pieces of information be submitted to the government but it remains hidden from the people who are the true owners of the resource. Expounding in this regard, Sanzillo asserted that Annex C, Sections Four through Nine of the ExxonMobil-Guyana deal, categorically state which state that the oil giant must submit regular reports on production, costs, profit calculations and other basic information to the Guyanese government.
He said that some of the information also predicts future production and revenue targets. These statements presumably are then reviewed or audited by the Guyanese government or its designated representatives.
Sanzillo said that the release or disclosure of these fundamental reports/statements would not only lend to the promise of transparency, but help Guyanese to see the truth about the lopsided Stabroek Block deal.
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