ExxonMobil responds to claims of wrongdoing in handling of revenue and expenses for oil blocks

ExxonMobil responds to claims of wrongdoing in handling of revenue and expenses for oil blocks

While still silent on recent statements from the Guyana Revenue Authority on the controversial reduction of the disputed US$214.4M cost oil claims, the ExxonMobil company this afternoon responded to a front page story in the Kaieteur News, which accused the company of using its Stabroek block revenue to cover expenses for the Kaieteur and Canje oil blocks.

In response to the article, Exxon stated that it is irresponsible to create the false impression that the ongoing audit process for the years 2018-2020 has been finalized.

Today, Exxon said the company remains committed to responding to any audit requests of the government or its appointed technical experts in support of a fair and professional resolution. 
ExxonMobil said audits are a standard practice for the company and it is regularly audited by internal and external auditors, including its Stabroek block co-venturers, who have as much interest as the government in ensuring all costs are correctly accounted for and documented.

Meanwhile the oil company is still to offer any comment in relation to statements from the Commissioner General of the GRA that the revenue agency was not budging from its position of disputing US$214.4 million of the Exxon cost oil claims for the other audit, which covered the years 1999 to 2017.

In relation to that audit, the GRA boss Godfrey Statia said the GRA stands by its advice that the disputed US$214.4 million in that audit is the accepted final figure, adding that the authority’s seeking of clarity from the international audit firm that conducted the audit, IHS Markit, should not be seen as a change in the authority’s position.

The ExxonMobil President Alistair Routledge had earlier indicated that the oil company has been providing additional documents to the audit company and providing information also.

The entire issue turned into a sizzling controversy when it became public that instead of the US$214.4 million in Exxon claims being disputed, the sum was reduced to just over US$3 million by the Ministry of Natural Resources through its Petroleum Unit.

The Government later launched an investigation and promised disciplinary action against the Head of the Unit Bobby Gossai, stating that he had no authority to meet with Exxon on the audit and advise on the reduction.

The Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, who overlooks the oil sector, and the Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat, have both washed themselves clean of the controversy, instead laying full blame at the feet of Gossai.

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