Latest update March 25th, 2023 12:37 AM
Mar 05, 2023 News
– Fears Kaieteur News will nitpick, misrepresent data
Kaieteur News – Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo told media operatives on Friday that he is not keen on having the cost recovery statements for ExxonMobil and partners released. He fears it would be misrepresented by Kaieteur News.
Be that as it may, the chief policy maker for Guyana’s oil industry firmly asserted that such information is proprietary. His comment was in response to a query from Kaieteur News regarding the government’s interest in releasing Exxon’s statements on how much money the oil giant recovers in a given year from Guyana’s oil to cover its investments. Kaieteur News also sought to understand if the government was inclined to release quarterly reports it receives from Exxon on how much it intends to spend on exploration, production and development works.
The Vice President said, “A lot of this is proprietary but in this environment and with an organization like Kaieteur News, I would never want to release that because they will nitpick, they will take one word out of it and create a story and lie about it.”
The official also said there are some standard practices in the hydrocarbon industry while noting that the release of such statements is not one of them. He said, “In no country in the world, you would not find intermediate reports being released to the media. You show me a country that is doing this where oil operations are concerned and we will do it.”
Even if the newspaper is to find a country where this is done, Jagdeo expressed further reservations, stating that such a country would not have a media house like Kaieteur News. The Vice President also criticized the newspaper’s reportage as he said it has never shown the qualitative difference between the environmental permits published by the APNU+AFC regime versus the PPP/C Government.
The Vice President was keen to acknowledge that there is a role for media in holding government and oil companies accountable on critical issues as there are instances of lapses. He said however that there appears to be a campaign against the government by Kaieteur News. The official said he is of the view that the release of information on spending by Exxon would not be for analytical purposes but for a smear campaign. Though he holds that position, he said, “Let’s see, we are open to exploring it and seeing what more could be done.”
According to the 2016 Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) signed for the Stabroek Block, ExxonMobil and partners are required to furnish the Guyana Government with various documents on their expected expenditure for a given year. They are also required to provide details on how much of their investment has been cleared off using Guyana’s oil.
Annex C of the contract which outlines in detail the accounting procedures Exxon must comply with states that the Contractor shall prepare an annual budget pursuant to Article 7 of the Agreement that will distinguish between Exploration Costs, Development Costs, and Operating Costs. The statement must also show a forecast of expenditures and receipts under the Agreement for the calendar year as well as cumulative expenditures and receipts to the end of the said calendar year.
Several industry stakeholders have called for the foregoing to be in the open to deepen the public debate on how the nation’s oil resources have been and would continue to be utilized.
They are being paid while we are being played…your pain is their gain!
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