Just a reminder that this series within a series seeks to compare the Janet Jagan administration’s 1999 Agreement with the Trotman 2016 Agreement and as we closed last week’s column we were on Article 20. We now pick up where we left off last week.
Article 20 (1) also contains provisions requiring and regulating abandonment of petroleum fields, the obligation of notice by the Contractor, and the respective liabilities of the Minister and the Contractor for costs incurred or to be incurred. Article 20 (1) (d) (iii) refers back to the Development Plan required to be submitted under Article 8.4 and provides that “the Contractor shall submit for the Minister’s approval a proposed abandonment programme and budget covering all such installations and pipelines provided by Contractor under this Agreement.” This provision is amended by addition in the 2016 Agreement to allow the Contractor to revise the abandonment programme and budget with the agreement of the Minister to account for any changes in the Development Plan.
Absurdly, the 2016 Agreement retains the section of the 1999 Agreement which requires that if the Contractor does not present a timely proposal to the Minister for abandonment, the Minister may, after giving thirty (30) days’ notice to the Contractor, prepare an abandonment programme and budget for the Contract Area!!! Such a major matter should constitute a fundamental breach but instead, the Minister undertakes this substantial responsibility, apparently at his cost!….