Jagdeo depressed about ExxonMobil contract


By Devina Samaroo

In his first press conference of the year, the Opposition Leader continued to criticise the recently released contract between the Government of Guyana and ExxonMobil as he believes that the Government did not get a fair deal.

“You know, all weekend, since this contract was released, I walk around and I am a little bit depressed. I feel sad without knowing why and then I think about it. Frankly speaking, when you work so hard to move a country from where it was – heavily indebted and no money to spend on itself to one of the lowest indebted countries in the western hemisphere … – to where we are today and just when we have the possibility of turning the corner, to have a Government come in and squander because of incompetence, a future that we could have by making bad agreements,” the former President told reporters.

Jagdeo contended that the Guyana Government did not seek the best possible advice during the renegotiation of the contract with ExxonMobil and that the oil company has benefitted significantly more than the country.

Comparing the benefits received by each entity, Jagdeo argued that the Government sacrificed long-term gains for short-term benefits.

“This country, I look around, and people don’t seem to care and it bothers me a lot because what we have given up might be billions of dollars into the future to get a few million dollars here,” the Opposition Leader stated.

He said ExxonMobil gained more in four clauses regarding the extension of the agreement, stability clause on taxes, relinquishment requirement and the regulation of the gas sector.

The oil contract was released to the public late last year after immense public pressure.

The contract reveals that Guyana received a US$18M signing bonus from ExxonMobil. It also confirmed a royalty of 2% royalty and a 50/50 profit sharing between the government and the oil companies after costs are recovered. The company will also utilize US$300,000 annually to train Guyanese personnel nominated by the Government.

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