British diplomat says Tullow oil find good for Guyana

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British High Commissioner to Guyana Greg Quinn says he will not get involved in the ongoing debate regarding terms in oil contracts but said the more oil discoveries Guyana gets the better for the country.

Guyana is getting a two per cent royalty on the giant Stabroek Block, where ExxonMobil has made 13 discoveries since 2015 and will begin producing up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day from its first development early next year.

From the adjacent Orinduik Block, for which UK-based Tullow recently made its first discovery, the contract is for Guyana to get a one per cent royalty.

Nicholas Boyer, President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce (GCCI), Monday said that there are “varying terms” on the contracts for the ExxonMobil and the Orinduik blocks and a more transparent process devoid of full Government control will make contracts more consistent.

Nicholas Boyer, President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce (GCCI)

“We need to move management of our oil industry out of direct control by political actors, insulate it, and make it transparent; and when it is transparent, I think you’ll see more of a harmonization,” Boyer stated.

Questioned on the issue, the British High Commissioner stated: “The contract terms are for Tullow and the government to sort out and I’m not going to get into that discussion.”

“It’s a commercial contract; it’s not a contract that I’ve been involved in,” Quinn told reporters during a press conference he hosted with the GCCI at his residence in Georgetown.

Quinn said the more oil finds for Guyana, the better because it will be mean more companies and operators will move into Guyana.

Given the Tullow discovery too, he said that it demonstrates that there is oil outside of the Stabroek Block.

“From my point of view the Tullow find last week is good for Guyana…,” he stated.

Boyer said the country needs to activate the Petroleum Commission to govern the sector, and that Commission can then seek advice on the risks and rewards of various terms and then make the best decision for the good of the country.

The Department of Energy has said it is looking to finalise a model Production Sharing Agreement that will be used for future oil contracts.

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