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Op-Ed: Don’t play politics with Guyana’s Oil

– Release the 2016 contract with Tullow and Eco
Attorney at law and one of the few Guyanese with a Masters in Oil and Gas say that the government’s selective release of the CGX contract is the government attempting to play political mitigation and is nothing but a red herring seeking to deflect from a bad or “suckered” renegotiated deal with ExxonMobil after nearly three billion barrels of high quality oil was discovered in Guyana in March 2015.

Ramson says that if the government released the contract with CGX in an attempt to say that “our terms are not much different from the previous contracts so do not beat us up” then this yet another example of the march of folly. He says that the true test of whether the government is protecting Guyana’s interest and patrimony is the fiscal terms contained in the contract/licence signed in 2016 with the oil companies Eco and Tullow for the Orinduik Block since that would have been signed after we knew we had a proven petroleum system with commercial quantities of oil of high quality – let the Government release that contract! Don’t play politics with Guyana’s oil!

Eco’s website reports that in “January 2016, Eco Atlantic signed a Petroleum Agreement and is party to an Offshore Petroleum Licence with the Government of Guyana and Tullow Oil for the Orinduik Block offshore Guyana. The 1800 km² Orinduik block is situated in shallow water, 170 km offshore Guyana in the Suriname Guyana basin, and is located 6.5 km from the recent Exxon Mobil Liza discoveries.”

Ramson says all of the contracts/licences prior to the discovery of commercial quantities of oil are only tangentially relevant – the contract with ExxonMobil was re-negotiated in 2016 so at that point we had a fairly good appraisal of what we had and the government should have secured a better deal. Even if you attempt to say that was our first contract, what did you get for Guyana with the contract/licence with Eco and Tullow for the Orinduik block in 2016 which is adjacent to the Stabroek block where the world class discovery was made and likely to have fairly similar geology. Don’t selectively release to try to beg for mercy.

The Attorney says that the true test of whether the government is trying to be transparent is not whether they released two contracts but whether they released all the contracts. Release all the contracts and stop playing political cloak and dagger with Guyanese resources. It belongs to the people and not the government so release all the contracts now.


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