Latest update March 28th, 2023 12:59 AM
Jan 29, 2023 Editorial
Kaieteur News – This is taking things past the limit. What ExxonMobil is being allowed to do in our offshore oilfields is perilous for this country, criminal in contemplation. The company ramps up production into dangerous territory at certain times, and Guyana goes along meekly, even willingly. Though we have said it before, we will ring the bell again: give ExxonMobil an inch of rope to operate beyond what is safe, and it will take that extra rope and hang the people of this country.
The Liza Destiny ship at 152, 940 barrels per day (bpd) is 27.45% over its recommended safety limit of 120,000 bpd. While, at 394,000 bpd in December, the combined bpd for the Liza Destiny and Liza Unity was 15.88% over the safety limits recommended. Though the Liza Unity is already pressed to 9.62% (21,160) barrels above its recommended safety limits, ExxonMobil has plans to push its production ceiling by another 20%. The best that can be said about this is that a reckless and rapacious ExxonMobil is dragging Guyana into unknown territory, likely treacherous waters.
In its defence, the American oil company seeks to reassure the Guyana Government, Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Guyanese people that there is nothing to worry, that it knows what it is doing, and that it has everything under control. According to ExxonMobil, it engaged in “debottlenecking exercises” which widen the pipelines and related equipment, so as to facilitate safely the increased production levels. The former Executive Director of Guyana’s EPA, Dr. Vincent Adams, is not swallowing that hook dangled by ExxonMobil to mislead and make fools of naïve Guyanese, whose exposure to sophisticated oil practices, and the deviousness of oil companies’ executives and managers, is almost zero.
What Dr. Adams has put before his fellow Guyanese (and the PPP/C Government) is that “debottlenecking” is not an industry norm, and that “they can’t pull this nonsense in the USA-I know that for a fact” (“Guyana’s oil ships breached safety limits to hit highest production level last year t 394,000 barrels -Former EPA Boss says Exxon making mockery of country” -KN January 23rd). As much as we agree with Dr. Adams, we at this publication take a harsher stance: ExxonMobil is humiliating the leaders of the government, kicking aside the EPA and whatever policies and procedures, and rules and regulations it may have in place, and all the while treating the people of Guyana like children with the risks it takes.
ExxonMobil is greedier than a hungry jackal let loose in an unmanned butcher’s shop; it feasts on Guyana’s weaknesses. ExxonMobil’s people are among the most cut-throat in a cut-throat industry. This American company is the worst of the worst, and it has virtual carte blanche given to it by the PPP/C Government to run whatever production racketeering enterprise that it wishes in Guyana’s offshore oilfields. The local EPA can be blamed for numerous embarrassing failures, has plenty to answer for, but this crucial State agency is only as good and potent and effective as the political masters allow it to be. Any examination of the local environment would confirm that the PPP/C Government is about control and domination for corrupt ends, with the EPA standing as one of the more visible and more glaring exhibits of such governance corruptions. In effect, this means that on any occasion that the EPA is in the way, it would be neutralized and rendered useless.
Vincent Adams was in the way, then he was no longer at the EPA, thanks to the shameless kowtowing of the PPP/C Government to ExxonMobil’s self-serving manipulations. Now the EPA is a caricature of what such an entity should be, when Guyana needs it the most. Dr. Adams said that ExxonMobil is “taking advantage of an abysmal EPA and weak government.” We agree on the EPA, but think that he is going too easy on the government. The truth is that the PPP/C Government is more than “weak” before ExxonMobil. It can be said to be compromised by the company. Having sold out, the PPP/C Government cannot move, it cannot utter a whimper of disagreement, which is why its heavy hitters run for cover when ExxonMobil’s runs its rackets.
The man who likes to shift blame!! | A message from Glenn Lall.
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