By Dr. Jerry Jailall
Particular to Information Americas
Information Americas, ATLANTA, GA, Mon. Sept. 21, 2020: Whereas a few of our legislators in Guyana proceed to divide nationals by inciting racial riots, Exxon is laughing all the way in which to the financial institution, wallowing in huge income from the primary oil nicely known as Liza 1 in Guyana.
Exxon is now in search of approval for a brand new oil nicely known as Payara, within the Payara oil block. Regardless of all of the consultants advising that Guyana ought to use the approval of the brand new Payara oil nicely as a possibility to leverage a greater take care of Exxon going ahead, the brand new Guyana authorities via its chief spokesperson, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, at a latest press convention, mentioned the Payara approval isn’t a “make or break” second for Guyana.
True, it was the A Partnership For Nationwide Unity’s (APNU) Raphael Trotman that rushed to signal a really dangerous settlement, rejecting recommendation given by its advisory crew. The Peoples Progressive Occasion/Civic, (PPP/C), should not rush down that very same street repeating the APNU’s mistake and reject good recommendation given by many, together with our indomitable main newspapers, and the Oil and Fuel Governance Community (OGGN), comprised primarily of Guyanese dwelling overseas.
It is crucial that the Guyana authorities’s place signifies that it’s going to not simply observe the beat of its personal drum and ignore anybody else. Throughout the latest press convention, Mr. Jagdeo mentioned whereas Exxon and the Authorities of Guyana don’t see eye to eye on points associated to the Payara license, “…I don’t see this and the federal government doesn’t see this Payara because the make-or-break.”
If we don’t renegotiate now, when? After we rush into one other dangerous deal? We have to maximize our advantages from every and all of our wells.
The VP additionally added: “We don’t favor flaring. We’re against flaring. And secondly, we consider that any water discharged, whether or not reinjected or discharged should be handled to worldwide requirements… .”
However these are generic positions. We see this as a continuum. Exxon isn’t going to vanish tomorrow. The Payara license isn’t the one alternative that we’ve got to get what the President mentioned we needed, and what the PPP campaigned on, which is an business that advantages the investor, however considerably advantages the Guyanese folks via jobs, enterprise alternatives, and so forth…
There are quite a few alternatives on this continuum. The added there’ll come a time when the federal government will maintain discussions about native content material and associated laws. He additionally mentioned there can be one other negotiating alternative when talks are held in regards to the improvement of gasoline fields, the value for gasoline, how a lot of it comes onshore, and the way it will profit the folks, and that the federal government is raring to interact in a discourse on coaching alternatives for locals.
The Guyanese nation perceive this, however the largest advantages from oil come from the royalty, the revenue sharing, Exxon paying taxes which they don’t now, and effectively auditing the prices submitted by Exxon to verify we’re not getting robbed of $US billions via inflated expense reviews.
These are the high-end objects if there’s a continuum. The native content material is necessary, however that’s not the place the largest features come from and it isn’t an alternative to higher royalties or revenue share. The largest beneficiaries from a greater native content material coverage can be the middlemen companies, not the poor folks of Guyana.
The trickle-down impact from native content material isn’t as big as if we had been to renegotiate for a greater royalty, revenue share, requiring Exxon to pay taxes in line with our tax legal guidelines, or pay for all oil spills. For each 1% enhance in royalty, at US$50 per barrel, we stand to realize an estimated US$four billion. That’s greater than you will get on a greater native content material coverage, which merely refers to Guyanese corporations getting a number of the oil associated contracts for items and companies, and Guyanese getting oil jobs and coaching.
The federal government should perceive that getting the utmost advantages for our poor, destitute folks, isn’t a multiple-choice query the place the reply is A, B, C, or D. The reply is “E” – “all the above.”
This notion of a “continuum” appears to be an inappropriate reply to the decision for renegotiation. We urge the Guyana authorities to be unwavering and unequivocal to renegotiation that features: larger royalties; larger revenue share; Exxon paying taxes, and modification or elimination of the steadiness clause; environment friendly auditing of oil bills claimed by Exxon; clear agreements that Exxon pays for oil spills not recoverable from our revenue share; strict penalties for flaring, oil spills and launch of polluted water and higher native content material.
I ask all Guyanese – regionally and globally – to “communicate now or perpetually maintain your peace.”
Converse up now and let’s again the legally elected authorities because it stands as much as Exxon for the folks of Guyana. As I mentioned earlier than, if the contract is renegotiated or not, the political and enterprise elite will nonetheless stay massive and have the great life. The wealthy will get richer, and the poor will get poorer.
Please signal the Oil and Fuel Governance Community (www.oggn.com) petition now, calling for renegotiation of the Exxon contracts. Go to https://www.change.org/Guyana_oil_contracts_need_renegotiation
EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jerry Jailall is an Training Advisor on the North Carolina State Division of Public Instruction (NCDPI), North Carolina, USA. He has served in training for 25+ years on the elementary-, middle-, high-, and college ranges in Guyana, the Bahamas, the USA and the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Jailall holds 5 levels and a number of other certifications in training, has written chapters in books and journal articles, and is Co-author of a Corwin Press bestseller, The Principal as Curriculum Chief: Shaping What’s Taught and Examined.