Lawyer urges Pres. Ali to disclose quantities of free oil used by oil companies
By Kaieteur News
Petroleumworld 09 29 2021
International Lawyer and staunch advocate for the protection of the environment, Ms. Melinda Janki, sent President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, a letter yesterday urging him to disclose the quantity of free oil used by ExxonMobil and its partners, Hess Corporation and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, from the Stabroek Block’s Liza Phase One Project.
In the letter seen by Kaieteur News, Janki noted that under Article 11.9 of the Stabroek Block Production Sharing Agreement (PSA), it states, “The Contractor shall have the right to use in any Petroleum Operations as much of the production as may reasonably be required by it therefore, and the quantities so used or lost shall be excluded from any calculations of Cost Oil and/or Cost Gas and Profit Oil and/or Profit Gas entitlement.”
Janki said it therefore means Guyana’s share of the oil, when calculated, is not from total oil produced. As such, she asked that the relevant Minister, being Vickram Bharrat, publish the following: The total amount of oil that has been produced in the Liza Phase One Development; a monthly breakdown of the total amount of oil that Esso, Hess and CNOOC have taken under Article 11.9 since 2019; the total amount of Cost Oil; and the total amount of Profit Oil.
The lawyer said these figures should be readily available since Annex C, Section Five of the Petroleum Agreement, entitled ‘Production Statement’ requires the Contractor to submit monthly Production Statements to the Minister showing the gross quantity of crude oil and natural gas produced and the quantities of crude oil and natural gas used for the purpose of carrying on petroleum operations.
Janki further noted that the figures should be available up to last month, i.e. August 2021. “If August is not ready, then up to July would be good enough,” noted the lawyer.
“The people of Guyana are entitled to know how much oil is disappearing under Article 11.9 so that they can make informed decisions about the future of oil in Guyana,” expressed the transparency advocate while adding, “Secrecy is one of the elements of the oil curse and undermines freedom and democracy.”
Similar sentiments were recently echoed by Chartered Accountant and Attorney-at-Law, Christopher Ram, during an interview with Kaieteur News. Ram was keen to note that he supports the release of key data in the oil and gas sector while noting that Guyana would be at risk of serious consequences which are known to arise when opacity envelopes a nation’s oil industry.
“We must be acutely aware that the segments of the petroleum world characterised by opacity and secrecy are also associated with some of the most egregious cases of corruption and mismanagement. To ignore these possibilities in our developing petroleum sector would be like dancing with the Resource Curse devil,” the lawyer expressed over the weekend.