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Letter: Renegotiating the Oil Deals – by Rudolph Singh

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17th of August, 2020. Georgetown, Guyana, South America

Dear Editor,

                   Now that we have had a change of regime, the nation’s attention should swiftly return to focus on that  US55 bullion that the APNU/ AFC govt left on the table in negotiating that Exxon deal. The Coalition’s refusal to reconsider renegotiation of the contract, despite the exposure of the numerous flaws exposed by KN and a host of international NGO’s, reeks of collusion. All is not lost. There is still room for redemption by the new PPP administration. That redemption can only come through our own patriot expert, Jan Mangal. Guyanese need to call on president Ali to get Jan Mangal as head of the Department of Energy.

Recent disclosure by Natural Resources minister Vickram Bharrat that, “the government is hoping to make a decision on Payara by this month-end so Exxon can make its FID,” does not auger well or should be considered as moving in the same vein as did the Coalition. Are our oil resources about to be sold for a mere pittance by successive regimes?

Dr Jan Mangal is adamant “that the Payara project should not be approved until there is a renegotiation of the Stabroek Block agreement which has been well ventilated as unfair and signed under suspicious circumstances.” Moreover! Dr Mangal and all Guyana is cognizant of the fact that, “there is a long list of regulatory reforms and legislative updates necessary to empower government to prudently manage the petroleum sector. If this Govt signed away “Payara” at the beck and call of Exxon’s demand for speed, in the absence of the necessary legislative framework, it would be following in the footsteps of the Coalition. Dr Mangal has the ability to use “Payara” as a bargaining chip to recover some of that 55 bullion the Coalition left on Exxon’s table, but will the supporters of the PPP demand that president Ali bring Dr Mangal on board?

The Coalition supporters saw no evil in the contract their party signed with Exxon. I wonder if it will be the same for the PPP supporters should the Govt sign away “Payara” swiftly in response to Exxon’s lure that “there are ‘weather conditions’ that need to be met for Exxon to make a timely Final Investment Decision.” This would be wrong – like the same sh.t on a different day.

Yours respectfully,

Rudolph Singh

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