Editorials

Oil and gas!!!!

The following article from Reuters news agency should be of interest to everyone in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

Guyana is now moving in the direction of being a net exporter of oil and gas that will transform the economy and lives of all Guyanese.

What is important is the fact that the authorities in Guyana were always taking the people in their confidence and keeping them abreast of all the development in their oil and gas business.

The article reads: (Reuters) – A vessel carrying Guyana’s first-ever shipment of crude set sail on Monday bound for the U.S. Gulf Coast, oil major Exxon Mobil Corp said, marking the tiny South American nation’s long-awaited debut as an oil exporter.

The Suezmax vessel Yannis P, loaded with about 1 million barrels of Liza light sweet crude was bound for Galveston, Texas, according to tracking service TankerTrackers.com, and departed from the floating platform Liza Destiny off Guyana.

Exxon and partners Hess Corp and China’s CNOOC started production at Guyana’s promising Stabroek block in December, ahead of schedule, after finding more than 6 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas.

Exxon had said on Friday that the project’s first crude shipment would load during the weekend and head for its refining network. The U.S. company operates refineries in Louisiana and Texas in addition to plants inland in Montana and Illinois.

All commercial oil resources in Guyana, an impoverished nation whose economy is expected to be transformed by its emerging oil industry, have been found at the Stabroek offshore block, where Exxon and its partners have disclosed 15 large discoveries so far.

The Exxon-led venture alone expects to produce at least 750,000 barrels per day of crude by 2025, enough for Guyana to become an oil power alongside neighboring Venezuela and Brazil.

Guyana’s transition to an oil-producing country has sparked a political controversy in the nation’s ongoing presidential campaign over the way the government gave exploration and production rights and designed its royalty framework.

Guyana’s People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has criticized President David Granger’s 2016 deal with Exxon as too generous and pledged to “immediately engage the oil and gas companies in better contract administration/re-negotiation.” Exxon said the negotiated terms of the contracts “are competitive with other agreements signed in countries at a similar resource development phase.”

Exxon is expected to export both its first two cargoes of Guyanese oil. Another of the first shipments from the Liza field is scheduled to be taken by U.S.-based Hess in February, with others earmarked for sale by the Guyanese government through an open-market tender won by Royal Dutch Shell”.

In Grenada, the people have been totally shut out of anything to do with oil and gas.

It is doubtful whether anyone besides Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and his second in command, Works Minister Gregory Bowen have information on what is happening in oil and gas exploration.

The last major announcement came from the Prime Minister during the election campaign when he told party supporters at a rally two days before the election that one well was drilled by the Russian company, Global Petroleum Group (GPG) and the prospects look very good for Grenada in the oil and gas business.

The Prime Minister cajoled the electorate to give him another chance in office and that his competitor, Nazim Burke of Congress should not be given a chance to run the country and to spend “the oil money” that was on the cards.

Nearly two years later, there is no talk by the current government about oil and gas that will transform the Grenadian economy.

There was no mention of it in both the recent Throne speech by Governor General Dame Cecil La Grenade and the Prime Minister himself in his capacity as Minister of Finance when he delivered the 2020 budget.

Minister Gregory Bowen made some brief remarks at a General Council meeting of NNP when he told delegates that the Russians were short of money to do anything and that a Chinese company will be brought in to take over.

Again, this seems to be a big secret as not a single Grenadian has been informed on what exactly is the deal with the Chinese.

Why is the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the civil society groups so silent on our oil and gas business?

The silence of these groups is sending a clear message that the government can do whatever it wants and do not account for the people’s resources.

The Congress party is apparently abandoning its role as the official group in the opposition to take the fight to Dr. Mitchell and NNP on behalf of that section of the population that hold a different view and perspective on the treatment of our oil and gas resources.

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