Guyana will not be like Hezekiah says Trotman- full disclosure of oil find not of national importance
By Stacy Carmichael-James
Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman is contending that full disclosure regarding Guyana’s oil find is not of national importance at this time, but Government would share the more salient aspects of the contract.
This year, Guyana is proceeding along a very delicate path as it relates to the border controversy with Venezuela with the possibility of entering into a mediation process with a Good Officer appointed by the UN Secretary-General. If, however, this process fails then the country would be heading into a juridical settlement after five decades of a claim by the neighbouring country to Guyana’s territory.
It is against this backdrop that Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman reasoned that the findings and other detailed information regarding the oil discovery should not be made public. This advice, Trotman said would be forwarded to Head of State David Granger.
“Don’t let’s go out there shouting in the name of full disclosure, everything we say and do as a Government is being used against us and will be recorded it’s like that admonition that a police officer gives when he arrests a person “everything you say can and will be used against you.”
Trotman gave a practical example of how full disclosure may affect Guyana and its sovereignty by making a comparison using the story of Hezekiah in the Bible.
The Natural Resources Minister said Government is prepared to share the salient features of the contract with ExxonMobil, which is a 50/50 production share partnership, which means the oil company and its partners will receive 50 percent and the GoG the other 50.
He deemed it a reasonable deal, pointing to the cost attached to a barrel of oil times the amount Guyana would receive under the agreement, even after cost recovery.
The fact is, Trotman emphasized, is that Guyana would become wealthy and there is no need for Government to broadcast its business to the entire world when the resource is not completely in hand.
He also clarified that the contract is for the entire Stabroek Block, however, Government has started the process of reviewing that contract to ensure that market trends are included to ensure fairness.
Foreign and local experts are engaged in this process.