ExxonMobil agreement should be renegotiated before new deals with other companies

Dear Editor,

Warren Buffet: “You cannot produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.” Agreeing to more oil agreements will not compensate Guyana for the unpatriotic Petroleum Agreement with Exxon, Hess and CNOOC. What we need is to renegotiate the June 27, 2016 Petroleum Contract – posthaste.

Thus, the Stabroek News article dated March 4, 2018 and captioned `Chevron, Petrobras among nine seeking remaining oil blocks -Trotman says direct engagements, bidding to determine selection’, should give us grave pause at this abominable suggestion that we enter into other oil agreements, before renegotiating the Exxon Petroleum Agreement for 10% Royalty and Removal of the asylumatic US$460 Million Charge for Pre-Contract Cost.

Paraphrasing Roman General, Mark Anthony: “Friends, Guyanese and countrymen, lend me your ears; we do not seek to bury Guyana only to make her citizens wealthy.” This should be the mantra of our Government. The government is not the enemy of the people, there are many astute and admirable leaders in our government; these officials should act as “servant” leaders. We all know that the contract with Exxon is lopsided, asymmetric and has striking features of mental madness or such like deformities. Comparatively, there is no Petroleum Production Agreement in the world that is so absurd and silly. Each member of parliament in Guyana should be questioned by our journalists for their views on the Exxon contracts and have their response recorded and published for future generations. I suspect shame or contrivance will invariably cause them to provide crutch answers and hide behind the party line, if access or answers are obtained. Though silence does speak volumes!

Exxon has announced oil discoveries at eleven wells so far: Liza 1, Liza-2, Liza-3 Payara-1, Liza Deep, Snoek, Liza-4, Payara-2, Turbo-1, Ranger and Pacora in the Stabroek Block of 6.6 Million acres, the crème de la crème of Oil Blocks in Guyana, producing the world’s largest and most valuable oil find in the 21st century. Resulting in Exxon’s conservative announcement on February 28, 2018; of 500,000 barrels of oil production per day in Guyana by an undefined date.

It is obvious to many that Exxon can produce 1,000,000 barrels of oil per day by that undefined date – from the Stabroek Block or in my opinion, within five years, without any further “discoveries”. Exxon published their last announcement as their seventh oil discovery, which is obviously not true. Not surprisingly, Exxon no longer provides specifics or Barrels of Oil Reserves Discovered, as they did for the initial oil discoveries. It appears that the oil bounty is too plentiful for Guyanese to assimilate.

O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive! – Walter Scott. It is best to again embrace the reworded thoughts of the Roman General, Mark Anthony: For Guyana has an Honourable Government, thus, our Ministers are also Honourable”.

It is good that Exxon Mobil is our major oil contractor; being the undisputed King of the Integrated Oil Industry – where Exxon leads, others in the Industry follow. We in Guyana, with a relatively small and poor population of between 750,000 and 800,000; now appeal for Exxon’s compassion, mercy and kindness to renegotiate the June 27, 2016 agreement, signed three days before Exxon’s June 30, 2016 announcement of 1.4 Billion barrels of oil discovered at another Liza Well in the Stabroek Block. Whether, the representatives of Guyana knew of this 1.4 Billion Barrel find on that fateful day of June 27, 2016, when the Petroleum Agreement was signed, would undoubtedly have made no difference to the contents of the agreement, as our Government has defended the Petroleum Agreement; strenuously, hoarsely and ad nauseam. Mr. Darren Woods, Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, kindly heed the pleas and prayers of the Guyanese people.

Yours faithfully,

Nigel Hinds

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