Jun 12, 2022 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Guyana is any oil company’s biggest dream. Guyana is Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Carnival all wrapped in one and loaded with oil goodies. This is what John Hess, the CEO of Hess Corporation has been preaching to his investors, to Wall Street, to the world. His words were, in effect, ‘give us time, and everyone will be rich in no time; give us some space, and the prosperity race will be on.’ Mr. Hess’ words on Guyana have proven to be prophetic.
There is plenty oil in Guyana, and it is not the thick, sludgy variety that requires expensive refining, not so appealing to both oil producers and consumers. Rather, it is the sweet stuff, low in sulfur, and light to the touch of machinery, a boon to industry. Best of all, Guyana’s oil is already abundant, with much more at deeper levels, all of it coming at giveaway prices. There is nothing better than that, and the anxious and nervous heavy-hitter investors and oil sector watchers can all breathe a sigh of relief that their patience and confidence have been rewarded, and what they have to do now is rake in the billions. Guyana is all good news, and the outlook is that things will only get better and better, meaning, richer and sweeter.
Breakeven prices, return on capital invested, an annual cash flow of 25 percent compounded are all simply out of this world. Hess and company (Exxon, CNOOC) are in oil heaven. They have many grounds, every right, to boast to the world, to preen and strut their stuff before all listeners and watchers, and it is all from the belly of Guyana, and on the backs of suffering Guyanese. The word has been drill, baby, drill; and this is capitalism at its profitable best.
The PPP/C Government and its feeble leaders are not a problem, as both are already under lock and key. The APNU+AFC Coalition Opposition is also in the bag, given that it can hardly say a word for itself, seems to lack any idea of where its feet are, and is the best example around of frailty, frivolity, inefficiency. There is one problem, though, and it is one that is not going away. The problem is the Guyanese people, who expect so much from this oil and have nothing to show for all of its billions of barrels and, as it looks increasingly likely, nothing to get in the days ahead.
These distressed and frustrated Guyanese are compelled by circumstances to scrape the bottom of life’s daily barrel to get by, and are aware of what is going on, that is, who is getting, and who is left out. They hear foreigners like John Hess drooling and bragging before everyone, while they are reduced to begging. They take note of the cabal of insiders in the PPP/C Government: cronies, families, friends, top businesspeople, and they simmer with anger. Guyanese observe this society’s new aristocracy created by the PPP/C Government, and as powered by the nation’s oil bonanza, which does not reach or touch the poorer, the lower, and the lesser. This is not good for any community, much less a whole nation of diverse peoples.
This is how the foundations of tension contribute to flaring of passions, and eventually leading to much worse, as in the undesired, and the undemocratic. Leaders and loyalists live like kings from our natural resource wealth, especially this oil; on the other hand, the mass of the population is forced to live like dogs scavenging for scraps left behind by those at the top of the oil pile. John Hess could speak of a “start to return cash” to his deep-pocketed investors, while empty-handed Guyanese are left to lament whether this oil will ever bring any kind of return for them.
The benefits of oil have so far been elusive for ordinary Guyanese, other than the occasional toys and trinkets from Santa Claus leaders in this Santa Claus PPP/C Government, and then only for selected segments of the population. Hess could rave about Guyana being an ‘industry leading durability story’, while Guyanese find ways to coexist with heavy, sorry reality. Will this oil ever mean something for regular Guyanese?
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