Latest update March 27th, 2023 12:59 AM
Aug 05, 2022 News
…company admits to being ExxonM’s client
…avoids questions on who paid for spreading of misinformation
By Kiana Wilburg
Kaieteur News- Rystad Energy, a research company that claims to be an “independent group” based in Norway was roughed up on Thursday evening after several Guyanese punched gaping holes into a “study” it produced with mysterious projections about the country’s oil earnings into 2040.
The report titled, Guyana Upstream Industry and Country Benchmarking Update, was unveiled to members of the business community at Duke Lodge by Rystad’s Senior Vice President (VP) and Head of Latin America, Schreiner Parker. The VP noted, among other lofty statistics, that Guyana is projected to receive US$157B by 2040. He also spoke about the amount of associated gas Guyana has and the fact that it is moving in the right direction by bringing it to shore through a pipeline project. Parker also praised Guyana for having a Natural Resource Fund in place, noting that it is a step in the right direction to good governance.
It was during the Question and Answer Segment however that a queue of oil-minded stakeholders led by Chartered Accountant and Attorney-at-Law, Christopher Ram and Kaieteur News Publisher, Glenn Lall, strategically interrogated and debunked the methodology and basis upon which Parker and his Norwegian team arrived at several conclusions in their report.
Leading off the first set of questions was Ram who demanded to know the qualifications of the presenter or the entire range of expertise that underpinned the study. Ram contented that this was crucial to understanding the length and breadth of knowledge that supported the so-called study. Given that the opinion-piece touched on several fiscal issues, Ram also asked if the study was subjected to a peer-review, be it internally, or preferably, externally.
Parker said, “Rystad is an independent research house that puts out these types of reports for the general public because we believe it is of interest. It has not been peer reviewed and nothing that Rystad publishes is peer reviewed. It is 100 percent our own take on the situation here and based on our ability to gather research, and use our proprietary models which allow us to do our forecasting…”
He added, “It is an interest-piece and I don’t believe it needs to be peer –reviewed.” Importantly, Parker did not answer Ram’s questions about his qualifications or that of his teammates. Ram therefore concluded that the report by Rystad is not only authoritative in the absence of being peer reviewed but i
ts reliability is compromised, to say the least.
Moving to the impacts of other external factors that could affect any future projections for revenues, Ram asked Parker to say whether environmental risks such as oil spills were considered in the so-called study. He contended that such an issue is critical to consider since the country stands to lose significantly in those circumstances. The lawyer pointed out that such an eventuality is not far-fetched since many of the developments in the Stabroek Block, as well as the discoveries are concentrated in one area; as such, the implications can be wide ranging and massive.
The Rystad agent said that was not part of the scope of the company’s essay, adding that it does not seek to hypothesize or postulate as to the potential impacts of environmental disasters. “…I would say that this may be outside of what we do. But certainly, that can be of interest to others,” the Senior VP noted.
Ram asked if Rystad penned such an oversight in a cautionary note. Parker said it was not done as he believes it is understood and incumbent on all stakeholders to employ practices to avoid any type of disaster. Displeased with the flippant retort, Ram briefly commented that oil spills and other technical environmental risk factors ought not to be dismissed as “hypothetical” as they are real threats in the oil sector.
Kaieteur News Publisher, Glenn Lall then took over the baton, commenting immediately that the presentation by the Rystad official left him wondering if the company was truly independent; if the government or Exxon paid him to deliver the study and its mysterious
extrapolations. On that note, Lall asked Parker if he was aware, for example, of the challenges Guyanese stakeholders faced with the passage of the NRF Law which he deemed so easily to be a step in the right direction. The transparency advocate also challenged Parker to say how he arrived at the conclusion that the gas-to-energy project is viable for Guyana when he presented no facts, feasibility studies or independent figures.
Lall also upped the pressure by asking him if he is aware of any other contract in the world that mirrors Guyana’s 2016 Exxon deal which has a mere two percent royalty and a 50 percent profit oil take, both of which swim in a sea of flawed provisions.
Parker danced once again, saying he can’t say off the top of his head which contracts have similar provisions like Guyana’s. He would only say there are many contracts around the world with royalty and profit oil arrangements in place. This is pretty much akin to saying there are other humans outside of Guyana, each with hands and feet.
Parker also noted that he has a superficial understanding of how the NRF legislation was passed. He told Lall that he only intended to show that it is a plus for Guyana to have such a mechanism since other nations do not have it. But here again, Kaieteur News in previous research has shown how several countries such as Nigeria, Angola and Equatorial Guinea have Natural Resource Funds in place, yet, they are mired in extreme poverty and corruption.
On the gas-to-energy project, Parker could not present a shred of evidence to support his conclusion of why the gas-to-energy project is financially viable as asked by Lall. He noted nonetheless, that it is a necessary project and regurgitated the government’s mantra that it will slash energy rates by half. Importantly, Parker did not pointedly answer Lall’s question on whether he was paid by the government or Exxon to spread his company’s propaganda. But following a question by Stabroek News, he confessed that Rystad is indeed a client of ExxonMobil.
(To see the full presentation and Q&A segment, follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/oilnowgy/videos/419294920007538)
The man who likes to shift blame!! | A message from Glenn Lall.
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