Jagdeo strikes sober tone on oil contract
Leader of the Opposition, Bharat Jagdeo
Leader of the Opposition, Bharat Jagdeo

WHILE describing the oil agreement as a “fair agreement that allows ExxonMobil to do well in Guyana “, Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo believes that the firm is investing here because it sees a good opportunity for investment.

Jagdeo also told the media on Thursday that every investor should be allowed to make money on their investment here, since that is one way a country can attract investment. Jagdeo noted during the press briefing at the Office of the Opposition Leader on Church Street that “we have made it clear however, we respect the sanctity of contracts “ adding that the government has to decide whether it wants to re-negotiate the petroleum sharing agreement with the American oil giant.

He said after the release of the contract by the APNU+AFC government last December, the opposition party mentioned four areas with the contract which it “had difficulties with.” Jagdeo said that the PPP has been consistent in its criticisms of the contract and its benefits to the Guyanese populace. He said he pointed out in the past that the party had major difficulties with contracts signed in the past and that it displayed respect for contracts signed prior to that party assuming office in 1992.

He said that ExxonMobil came to Guyana during the PPP’s term in office and “we believe they have a right to make money on their investment, but we believe that Guyana, these are our resources and the bulk of the benefit must flow to Guyanese. “ He expressed hope that the government would sit with Exxon and re-negotiate the contract.

When questioned for clarification regarding his comment on the contract being a fair deal, Jagdeo said “I said we believe that there should be a fair agreement with ExxonMobil, they are not coming here because they love Guyana or all of us, they are coming here because they see a good investment opportunity.”

There have been criticisms in sections of the media about the ExxonMobil contract. Earlier this week, Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin took a dig at those critics who have been daily finding fault with the government over its handling of developments here since the discovery of oil.

Minister Gaskin noted during an oil and gas forum that the vast majority of Guyanese he has met would like to see the oil and gas industry get off the ground, and to know they can benefit. And to those persons who’ve repeatedly stated that the production-sharing agreement the government has signed with Exxon is “bad for Guyana” among other negatives, Minister Gaskin said that the US$300M this country stands to make come 2020, the first year of production, “is not chicken feed” as they have been wont to say.

Noting that that initial agreement has since been nullified by both Exxon and the government, Minister Gaskin went on to explain that back in 1999, there was no formal negotiation process. “The company had a valid agreement with the Government of Guyana which was not up for re-negotiation,” he said, adding that one cannot unilaterally amend a contract after the other party has invested large sums of money under terms of the said contract.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All our printed editions are available online
Subscribe to the Guyana Chronicle.
Sign up to receive news and updates.
We respect your privacy.