Gov’t to appeal High Court ruling against EPA
See below full statement issued by the Attorney General’s Chambers:
The Government of Guyana as a major stakeholder notes the ruling today by the Honourable Mr. Justice Sandil Kissoon and the several declarations granted therein that the Environmental Protection Agency of Guyana (EPA) breached its statutory duty by failing to enforce compliance by Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) of its Financial Assurance obligations to provide an unlimited Parent Company Guarantee Agreement and/or Affiliate Company Guarantee Agreement to indemnify and keep indemnified the EPA and the Government of Guyana against all environmental obligations of the Permit Holder and Co-Venturers within the Stabroek Block, Offshore Guyana.
The EPA and the Government of Guyana are of the considered view that the Environmental Permit imposes no obligation on the Permit Holder to provide an unlimited Parent Company Guarantee Agreement and/or Affiliate Company Guarantee Agreement. In this regard, we hold the respectful opinion that the Learned Judge fell into error in his findings. This ruling can have profound ramifications and grave economic and other impacts on the public interest and national development. As a result, the decision of the Learned Judge will be appealed and orders will be sought to stay its effect until the hearing and determination of the appeal.
The Environmental Protection Agency and EEPGL spent almost a year negotiating a Parent Guarantee and Indemnity Agreement to the tune of US$2 billion in liability coverage in compliance with EEPGL’s financial assurance obligations under the Environmental Permit and the Environmental Protection Act. These negotiations only concluded last week. These negotiations and their material details were placed before the Court for its consideration, but unfortunately to no avail.