The ExxonMobil Guyana company has found itself trying to patch up its position on the Payara well development negotiations following a statement by its new President Alistair Routledge.
During a briefing with select media houses on Wednesday, Mr. Routledge said his company remains committed to its oil development plans in Guyana but on the issue of the development of the Payara oil field, the company was willing to look at other options if the agreement for the development of that area is not favourable to the company.
“Guyana is one of the better opportunities for us in the ExxonMobil portfolio, it is not the only one. And indeed, if we don’t get the agreement as we are looking for on Payara, the investment money will go elsewhere in ExxonMobil’s portfolio”, the ExxonMobil Guyana President said.
But hours later, the company issued a clarification of the remarks made by its new President.
In that statement, Exxon sought to explain that Mr. Routledge’s statements were taken out of context.
The company now claims that he was referring to the impact that further delays could have amidst the current weak oil market conditions due to the global pandemic that has tightened available funding for projects.
The company said it will continue to work closely with the government to develop the country’s resources for the long-term benefit of the people of Guyana.
“We strive to be transparent in our dialogue and want to work to progress positive development in the best interests of all stakeholders”, the statement noted.
The Government has set up a review panel to look at the Payara project before an agreement is finalised.
Exxon has been pushing for the project to be given the green light and has highlighted that the timely approval of the Payara project and others will ensure that the local workforce and the utilization of local suppliers will continue to grow.
Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, who is overlooking the oil sector has repeatedly stated that the company must play a greater role in the development of local capacity for the sector. He has said the PPP Government will push for more transparency in the way the company operates.
Payara is Exxon’s third development project in Guyana.