Exxon’s cost audit delayed but necessary technical work being done- Jagdeo
Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday accepted that the finalised audit into the expenses incurred by ExxonMobil’s local subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), from 1999 to 2017 has taken a lengthy time to be finalised.
He, however, defended the delay, stating that the necessary technical work is being done to ensure Guyana is able to recoup any inflated costs detailed by the oil company.
“This audit was done and the criticism about the length of time they took is fair, it is a fair criticism,” Jagdeo told reporters on Thursday.
This audit is the first ever one conducted on cost claims by EEPGL for the pre-production period.
The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), in a release issued on Tuesday night, said the final audit report has not yet been finalised because of several procedural issues raised with the United Kingdom (UK) company that executed the audit, IHS Markit.
Jagdeo acknowledged this and clarified that the report was not being hidden from the public. He said it was with the technical staff of the GRA and the Ministry of Natural Resources.
He said, “It’s going slowly but it is getting the required attention at the technical level.
“It’s taking long but they are sticking doggedly to it… and we are not going to lose a cent from that.”
Recent reports on the preliminary audit report highlighted questionable cost claims made by the company but Jagdeo also explained that Guyanese authorities have requested additional information to validate those expenses.
About US$214 million have been identified as questionable claims but Jagdeo said of that amount, Guyana is waiting on additional documentation for about US$179 million.