Kaieteur News – I marvel at the sophistication of Exxon’s Guyana President Alistair Routledge. In less than a handful of words two weeks ago, he made known the irreversible position of Exxon. In one tight sentence, Guyana’s master oilman Routledge displayed the trump in his hand. Guyana has a good deal, there is no need for renegotiation. I am overcome. Almighty God needs ten commandments to convey his position. Exxon’s almightier Alistair Routledge only saw the need for one: Thou shalt not renegotiate the 2016 oil contract. A cardinal sin it would be, especially considering how lavish it is to Guyanese.
I am in awe of President Routledge’s power and profoundness, but there is higher regard for his well-schooled intelligence. It is deep, and it is broad. For there was the choice of channel and audience from the man from Exxon. The Financial Times is one of those bibles of business, almost like the Wall Street Journal, and followed and absorbed as if its every word came down from heaven. It was from that lecture theater, that pulpit, that Alistair Routledge (Mister Routledge, I rush to remind myself), waxed in scintillating verbal sparkle. Good deal and no renegotiation. It was two birds with one stone, if not more, and the smartest choice of venue.
Because the Financial Times has its following. Men with money weighing down their pockets, money coming out of their pores by the billions of droplets. Talk about the right audience, and there was one. There could be none that is better, none more on the right side. Obviously, when Exxon has something to say, the crown jewel must be on display in the center of the table, with Byronic and Shakespearean lines gracing the occasion. Think Guyana. Whoever thought that Alistair Routledge, Darren Woods, or Katryn Mikhils don’t have the required savvy to market their Guyanese beauty is a total dummy.
The people who read the Financial Times don’t want to know about the Permian Basin, or some godforsaken place in Africa. They want to know about Guyana. The money-big money, sweet money, easy money – is there in Demerara. Guyana is the pearl of oil frontiers: gushers of gold, moochers for leaders, gropers for regulators. Guyana is paradise and all those Savile Row Financial Times types hang on to every word breezing past President Routledge’s lips. When he speaks, he speaks for more than Exxon. He speaks for Guyana, thanks to President Ali and former President Jagdeo.
Read the fine print, my fellow citizens, whether a PPP man or a PNC one. Detect the echoes from Mr. Routledge bouncing off the pages, the walls of tony, old money clubs. No renegotiation of the contract means just that, and then this. Any money that is invested in Guyana is super safe, as in guaranteed. I can smell the smoke all the way over here from the excitement prompting a deep draw on the pipe. High grade Afghan opium doesn’t generate a bigger rush. The rich returns from cheap oil are more than good. They are great, brimming with cream. Put money in Exxon’s Guyana projects, and sleep like a baby. There is Jagdeo who is as one with Routledge on zero renegotiation. Which investor could ask for better, dream of anything greater? I did say that Mr. Routledge was as smart as they come, didn’t I?
The second bird brought down by President Routledge’s slingshot wielded before the Financial Times, had this stone, and these words written on it. ‘Guyana has a good deal.’ It is a lovely line, one heard around the world, about how good Exxon is to Guyanese. Remember this is the 21st century, where political correctness and gimlet-eyed watchers make code words necessary. Guyana has a good deal, means that Guyanese have a good deal. Thanks for the favour, Mr. Routledge. Now I am going to hang these same words from the highest tree in Guyana or California.
Guyana has a good deal sounds eerily like the slaves are happy. Guyanese have a good deal resonates with they have never had it this good. Guyanese have a good deal, thanks to Exxon’s contract generosity that keeps on giving good gifts. Hence, the Exxon contract will not be renegotiated, because it is written on stone tablets. Just like the Ten Commandments now reduced to only one: thou shalt not renegotiate. Mr. Routledge’s listeners and readers of the Financial Times must have gone to their places of worship with happy hearts and praised their respective gods for his (or her) magnanimousness. Clearly, Guyana is God’s country, according to Mr. Routledge, and populated by the right kind of helpful, collaborating leaders. Count me as an infidel, a Mongol, a Hun. How about an abolitionist, Mr. Routledge?
Considering all of this, has anybody seen Dr. Ali (wrong end of the stick), or Dr. Jagdeo (review and renegotiate), or Dr. Norton (don’t use that word renegotiate)? This man Routledge dictating openly and powerfully how things are going to be in Guyana (no renegotiation), and these fine brothers all take that sitting down. Man, I would run him out of town.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of this newspaper and its affiliates.)
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