Government making the best of “lopsided” ExxonMobil oil contract -says AG Nandlall

Government making the best of “lopsided” ExxonMobil oil contract -says AG Nandlall

Attorney General Anil Nandlall has once again criticized the 2016 Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) between the Guyana Government and Oil Company ExxonMobil signed under the APNU+AFC administration. However, he said while the contract is lobsided, the Government will ensure it maximizes all possible benefits from it.

On the question of re-negotiation, the AG again stated that such a move could reduce investor’s confidence in Guyana at a time when the country is attracting investors from all over the world.

He claimed that the contract has constricted the Government.

“As constricted and confined as we are, we will manage to eke variables or variations to include more conditions, so the financial assurance for example, they never had it in place, we put it in the contract, but by the time we get to the stage of negotiations, negotiating what they sum in the environmental permit was going to be, the court proceedings was filed,” the AG stated.

Mr. Nandlall believes that the Government was outsmarted stating that an inexperienced government went into negotiations with a company that has been in business for over 100 years.

“Companies like Exxon are there to make a profit, they are profit driven and if they can get the best possible deal, there nothing wrong about that, there is not immoral about that and certainly nothing illegal about that. A government’s duty on the other hand, is to ensure that the government gets the best deal also, out of the given situation for the benefit of the people.” Mr. Nandlall stated.

Further, recognizing that investment is a critical driver of economic growth in Guyana, the AG said scrapping the 2016 agreement would communicate to foreign investors that Guyana is not a stable environment for investment, negatively affecting its economic growth.

There have been calls for the Government to renegotiate the contract that it criticised widely while in Opposition.

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