The Opposition People’s Progressive Party wants Guyana’s oil to be sold through a public tendering process and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo believes that Guyana’s share of the first lift of crude should be sold by the Exxon company.
“Because they have to sell it, it’s a publicly-traded company. They can’t tamper with the price and we can verify the price they receive and put in a proper system through open public tender for the sale of our oil”, Mr. Jagdeo told reporters at his weekly solo press conference today.
The Opposition Leader said he believes that public tendering is the best and most transparent way to sell Guyana’s share of the oil.
He said he is not supportive of the Energy Department’s decision to have face to face bidding by invited international companies for Guyana’s share of first oil.
While some industry watchers have expressed concern over the selective bidding for Guyana’s oil, the Energy Department has defended the move, saying it is the best one for Guyana and is not in breach of any procurement regulation.
Today, Jagdeo also warned that any company that enters into an arrangement with the Guyana Government under the current system being put in place for the purchase of first oil, could find itself being left out of the future sales if his party is elected to Government.
“And the companies who have tied up arrangements with them (government) now shall be excluded from any the open public tender is done. That is our position now because they are entering into a contract with a government that has its powers reduced and should not be tying up any arraignments”, Jagdeo said.
He said the government should have had more widespread consultation on the process to be employed for the sale of Guyana’s share of first oil, adding that, “we believe you can’t decide who to invite to a bidding process on the basis of internal consultation. So they need to tell us who are the people they internally consulted.”
Exxon is moving to begin oil production before Guyana’s elections in March and first oil could come as early as the end of this month.