Jan 29, 2024 Editorial
Kaieteur News – Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo last week promised that government will tap a US$20M loan secured from the World Bank under the former APNU/AFC Government to install meters on the FPSO being operated by ExxonMobil to monitor oil production.
This is certainly an important tool in the arsenal of this stubborn administration in the policing of our oil resources. And while we welcome the announcement that there would be movement in this regard, until the meters are installed all Guyana would not be holding their breath.
The delay in installing meters at the pumps was certainly national negligence taken to the extreme. Which government determined to be the most vigilant protector would be so slack about meters to monitor offshore oil production? Which leader would be able to look the Guyanese people in the face, and say that there is no move to get meters to keep ExxonMobil honest with actual oil production numbers, but the best is being done? What is it that we at this paper do not know that can justify having no meters of our own to monitor what ExxonMobil is doing offshore?
In the best of circumstances, when there is a partner that has proven to be one that is credible, a chance may be taken in Guyana not having its own meters looking out for us, barrel by barrel. It is ironic that the PPP/C Government has such discomfort, so many anxieties, with citizens clamoring for better from the nation’s oil patrimony, but it does not manifest a single concern about what ExxonMobil could be doing in the oil fields 120 miles from shore, and those in control don’t know the whole story. What could be made of this standard? Could it be that the Government of Guyana, of the Guyanese people, is in bed with ExxonMobil, and the tricks that it is pulling on this country with the amount of oil produced? Who are leaders listening to, being coached by, in slowing down getting vital meters?
What the government and its leadership team are doing does not make sense, nor give much comfort, when there is clear awareness of the kind of operator that ExxonMobil is. The history of this American supergiant is one that is checkered, and its own records have often put it to shame, before regulators and the courts. Right here, ExxonMobil has been a prime exhibit of the partner from hell. ExxonMobil has been about anything and everything that richly benefits itself, and what suffocates the promise of this country. Starting with an oil contract that is unspeakable, so reprehensible it is, ExxonMobil has been about pulling every trick in the book to get one over Guyana. A genuine partner does not operate in this greedy manner, not even in the cutthroat world that is about skimming secretly, and profiting perversely at the expense of those who are called partners. ExxonMobil has gone to great lengths to gouge Guyanese of their oil dollars, as the US$7.3 billion audit of Liza 1 and 2 projects has revealed. The US millions in expenses claimed are not about what is frivolous, they reek of what is covetous. From contract to expenses hidden and audits, the reports are of a partner, ExxonMobil, that seeks every opportunity to swindle Guyanese out of their already low oil revenues.
In a context such as this, it is unimaginable, therefore, that the Guyana Government (any government), and Guyana’s leaders (any leaders anywhere) could have been so casual, so irresponsible, in getting our own meters to monitor the flow of oil from the seabed through the company’s systems, and to the storage tanks. At one time, many citizens were in an uproar over parking meters, and all because it was going to cost them. Now, when a bigger network of meters is urgently needed, Guyanese leaders and citizens have developed an acute case of tonsillitis.
The company’s production records indicate 400,000 barrels pumped daily. Why should any Guyanese take this at face value, considering how ExxonMobil has come up with novel ways to grab improperly for additional pieces out of Guyana’s paltry oil revenues, as the audit found? Which Guyanese leader or layman who still has his head on would place any trust in any record that ExxonMobil provides to the Ministry of Natural Resources? Only a complete tenderfoot would do so. Or someone who is part of ExxonMobil’s program, deep into its bag of tricks. Whatever the cost of getting our own meters, it would be money well spent, and the earlier that they are bought and installed the better for Guyana. There would be our own metering system, and our own people overseeing firsthand how much oil is passing through the pipes and lines, not some secondhand, probably trumped up, numbers from ExxonMobil.
Leaders prostituting Guyana
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