ExxonMobil’s Kimberly Brasington, Senior Director, Public & Government Affairs, recently made several comments to the media and at public/private gatherings in Guyana that give the impression to Guyanese of being condescending and pompous.
In response to Ms. Brasington remarks to the Guyanese public; I have presented below a few questions for Ms. Brasington to answer. Some of the questions are followed with a commentary note; the notes may be used by Ms. Brasington as a guide to provide intelligent answers with an emphasis on clarity.
1. Are you an employee of Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited?
2. Was it necessary for you to mention that a lot of eyes were on Guyana watching to see how “this” plays out? Note to self: Sounds intimidating.
3. Do you consider Guyana an unstable environment?
4. If efforts are being made by Guyanese to have an unconscionable contract renegotiated; would that qualify Guyana as an unstable country?
5. Where is the logic in your statement that the sanctity of a contract is more important in a “frontier” country that is new to the oil and gas sector? Note to self: One contract may be more contractual than another.
6. Could you identify the section in the 1999 agreement that makes Guyana liable for pre-contract cost? Note to self: None.
7. Why was an extremely low royalty rate and a relatively minor signing bonus included in the 2016 contract for a block of 6.6 million acres and Billions of Barrels of proven low-cost oil reserves? Note to self: Check out what is a sucker punch.
8. How can you say with certainty that ExxonMobil would have said “no thanks” to a request for a very high signing bonus for Billions of Barrels of proven and recoverable low-cost oil reserves?
9. Why is there no scope for a justifiable production bonus for Guyana?
10. Why is there scope for a fabricated US$460 Million pre-contract cost?
11. Is it rational to pay the Government of Guyana, the same amount of signing bonus on a 1.4 Billion Barrels Oil Discovery vs a 10 Billion Barrels Oil Discovery?
12. Will Exxon set off the contrived US$460 Million pre-contract charge against any Royalty or Profit Share due to Guyana? Note to self: US$460 Million exceeds the first four years of royalties projected from oil production.
13. Do you consider a contract as having sanctity and legality, after signing for 600 blocks, when the Guyana Petroleum Act only allows for a company to contract for 60 blocks?
14. Does the presence of Government of Guyana auditors on the Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessels on a 24/7 basis, breach the terms or sanctity of the contract?
15. During your eighteen years as an employee of ExxonMobil Cor-poration, has Exxon ever done anything unethical?
16. Are you aware that on February 14, 2017, United States President, Donald John Trump, signed legislation repealing an Obama-era rule that forced energy and mining companies to disclose any payments they made abroad and that ExxonMobil once lobbied against the Obama-era rule?
17. When you speak of real value in the sanctity of contracts, is your statement applicable to lop-sided contracts that hugely disadvantage one party and is overly generous to the other party? Note to self: An unconscionable contract is unscrupulous, immoral, unjustifiable and indefensible.
18. Are you aware that sanctimonious and binding slave contracts existed, and release from these contracts was necessitated by the widely held belief that inhumane and unconscionable contracts are unenforceable?
19.Why can’t you compare Exxon Mobil operating in an established region to operating in Guyana, considering that when the agreement was signed in 2016, over 1.4 Billion Barrels of proven low-cost oil reserves were already discovered in Guyana, along with expectations that substantially more oil was in the same oil field and probably much more oil in the Stabroek Block? Note to self: The term frontier country seems to have much in common to countries that President Donald John Trump referred to as Sh..Holes.
20. Isn’t it disingenuous to claim you would not disclose the nature of the negotiations for the bonus and yet you still divulge that “in the end” both parties got what they wanted and are satisfied and even if more oil is discovered “there was no possibility of a higher bonus” or incorporation of a production bonus to the agreement?
21. While claiming you can’t comment on closed door negotiations, why do you selectively comment on discussions during closed door negotiations? Note to self: Based on Ms. Brasington’s disclosure that occurred during closed door “negotiations”: Guyana asked for exactly $18 Million in a signing bonus and it was granted.
22. How can you claim that the 2016 agreement is “actually a globally competitive one relative to countries with a similar oil and gas profile”? Note to self: Look up the meaning of absolute nonsense.
23. You said the Stabroek Petro-leum Agreement “in the case of Guyana was an unproven basin”. In which universe is this true, when at the time of signing the agreement, 1.4 Billion Barrels of proven and recoverable low-cost oil reserves were known to be in the Stabroek Block?
24. With the sanctified Petroleum Agreement being signed on June 27, 2016; why was there a necessity to have the sacred contract finalized on October 7, 2016?
25. Was the $18 Million signing bonus included in the contract signed on June 27, 2016 or was it inserted after the contract signing date?