ExxonMobil says it has ‘financial capacity’ to respond to oil spills
President of ExxonMobil Guyana Alistair Routledge on Monday took time to respond to what he said was “misinformation” being shared as part of the national discussion on oil spill insurance.
The Exxon Head assured that in addition to its insurance, which meets international standards, it also has the financial capacity to respond should there be such an adverse event.
In a video statement, Routledge said the company has insurance coverage that meets international industry standards for all of its petroleum activities in Guyana.
“ExxonMobil maintains the industry’s only sustained, dedicated and in-house oil-spill response research programme, which dates back to the 1970s.”
Routledge outlined efforts to prevent oil spills, saying adherence to an internationally accepted, tiered response system remains aligned with the principles of the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC), the Caribbean Island Oil Pollution Preparedness Response and Cooperation (OPRC), and the National Oil Spill Response Plan of Guyana.
He said the commentary on “full coverage” insurance and guarantees inaccurately suggest that ExxonMobil Guyana will not be able to effectively manage response activities while pointing out that insurance is just one source of financial assurance that could be leveraged for response activities.
“We have the financial capacity to meet our responsibilities for an adverse event and we are committed to paying all legitimate costs in the unlikely event of an oil spill,” he asserted.
Routledge drew attention to almost US$5 billion in assets that its partner, Esso Exploration, has. This company is currently operating in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana.
In addition, ExxonMobil says it is working with the Environmental Protection Agency and co-venturers to put in place a combined US$2 billion of affiliate company guarantees.
This, the President said, is a value exceeding equivalent guarantees required by regulators in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
“Contrary to claims in the media, ExxonMobil Guyana never agreed to insurance at a value of $US2.5Bn with a previous EPA administration.”
According to the statement, ExxonMobil Guyana has invested billions of dollars in multiple oil and gas projects here.