Oct 25, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Guyana is preparing for the US$9B or GY$1.8 trillion for Exxon’s 4th oil project. That is a lot of money for a poor country like Guyana. Add that to the US$1B gas-to-shore vision, and Guyana will be swimming in debt. Or more accurately, drowning in trillions of Guyana dollars in debt for generations ahead.
Our leaders either have no sense of prudence, or they have no concern for the gargantuan hole that they are digging for the peoples of this country. If political leaders are allowed to run amok with these extravagances, the debt holes that they are excavating could end up being the shallow grave of Guyana’s entire population.
We have a gas-to-shore project gathering steam, which looks almost certain to happen, so determined is Guyana’s only oil knowledgeable, its Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo. He has provided little by way of sound studies, or sharp clarity as to the ins and outs, the many pros and cons, of this costly project.
For sure, the Vice President was in full flow, while he was touting the benefits of the Wales gas-to-shore project. But when cornered, relative to its downsides, he disappeared into convenient fallback corners of his own making. Nowadays, he has very little to say about gas-to-shore, other than it is going to be.
We get the impression that it is the same approach, and going to be the same story, regarding this 4th oil project with Exxon that is called Yellowtail and slated to cost US$9B and counting, if certain assumptions don’t hold (KN October 24).
Assumptions are, to put it generally and politely, educated guesses, which sometimes prove to be right, and other times have to be adjusted to address changing situations. Associated variables they are called and they usually have a material impact on whatever undertaking is at hand. By then, the project is so far along that there can be no turning back, but to keep going doggedly, and with the hope of capping a runaway cost beast at some point.
Regardless of how this is put, that US$9B price tag placed by Exxon on this country’s proposed 4th oil project aka Yellowtail, is a staggering sum of money. After all, it is almost unprecedented for Guyanese to think of, and talk about, a trillion dollars for any single project.
This project is so massive that, even now, it threatens to bust the gut by climbing over two trillion dollars, given its starting figure of GY$1.8 trillion, and with underlying variables/assumptions to be tested in real-life circumstances, when such arise.
By now, Guyanese do not need any insights from us about having political leaders and their acolytes near to such a monster of a project. That is, any Guyanese political leader from any party and their comrades would not know what to do with themselves. So besides themselves with joy they would be at the countless opportunities to partner with Exxon and rob the people of this country blind.
Then, dump trillions of dollars in unbelievable and unimaginable costs and debts on Guyanese’ heads. It would make the dream of dreams come true for political leaders and their cronies. The history of our political leaders in the PPP/C and PNC and AFC is littered with immense projects that have failed.
Projects that usually don’t deliver what they promised, and which are riddled through and through with the flat-out thieveries that first steal delivery then performance away from expensive projects, as hailed. Then, it is the same outright thieveries of PPP/C and PNC and AFC leaders and cabals that have stolen the hopes and dreams of the peoples of this politically criminal society. Last, those same old, and now newly planned, political thieveries of leaders steal the rest of the trust left in this country.
For its part, Exxon has taken out protection. The company covered itself by positing that benefits from this 4th oil project will “depend on how decision-makers in government decide to prioritise and allocate funding for future programmes.” Put differently: as Guyanese politicians decide, Guyanese will (or will not) benefit. This already looks like a two trillion-dollar tale of terror in the making for every single Guyanese.
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