…on T&T refining Guyana’s crude
We’ve been assured by President Granger that “there’s no sellout” to T&T on the Energy MoU he signed with them…before releasing the details! Your Eyewitness is sure Guyanese have now breathed a sigh of relief. After all, the last time the President gave such an assurance was on the Exxon contract negotiated by Trotman!!
The President’s obviously either very, very naïve, or he’s jerking our chain! As your Eyewitness has taken pains to point out, when dealing with businesses or other countries trying to get a piece of your action, you’ve got to work on the premise that whatever they propose is intended to promote THEIR interests. So it was with the Exxon contract, and so it is with the T&T Energy MoU. No matter how you slice it, dice it, or puree it, Rowley’s looking out for Number 1 – which sure ain’t Guyana!!
The question your Eyewitness has is: How the heck does Granger know the MoU isn’t a “sellout”? Is this his personal surmise? Or was he advised by his Energy Czar? Ooops!! He couldn’t have received any advice from THAT quarter, since the fella he unilaterally appointed has absolutely NO EXPERTISE in the area!!! He and the President both assure us he’ll be hiring “experts” to advise him!! And, presumably, after that, he’ll advise the President.
So, when the President vows there’s “no sellout”, like the captain of the Titanic, he’s basically whistling in the dark on a wing and a prayer! And the analogy’s quite apropos, since, like icebergs, the real import of these MoU’s is always under the water, under the table, and under the radar. The second question your Eyewitness has is: What need is there for the MoU, in the first place? The “Objective”, according to Art 1 of the MoU, is “promoting joint projects throughout the hydrocarbon value chain”.
Now, since Exxon will be giving us our measly 12.5 percent share of profits and the 2 percent royalty in CRUDE oil, “projects throughout the hydrocarbon value chain” basically means we’ve agreed to refine that crude (or portions thereof) in T&T. How else do you “add value” to crude oil?? But when Rowley shut down T&T’s oil refinery, Petrotrin, he confessed that one of the reasons was because of the company’s high cost and inefficiencies! In light of that, why even discuss “adding value” to our crude with T&T?
Was it the reminder Rowley slyly gave Granger about “Trinidad” – under Basdeo Panday in 1996! – writing off US$300 million of debt? Is it now time to pay back??
…on T&T controlling ancillary activities
So we move to Article 2 of the MoU: “Areas of Cooperation”. T&T’s gonna cooperate with us in “technical assistance in…exploration and production of hydrocarbon resources”. So let’s get this straight: This Government intends to start competing with Exxon and the other multinationals to “explore and produce oil and gas”?? We can’t even cap a gas leak at Diamond, and we’re going to be drilling 1 mile under the sea and another 1 mile under the continental shelf? And it’s not even Carnival or Mash time!!
Then we’ve agreed to work with T&T on “the development of policies relating to local content”. We have the thousands of T&T companies now made redundant with the collapse of their oil industry, and we’ll have the T&T Government assisting in defining what’s “local content”?? So what will be different? Exxon’s definition of the cane juice vendor as supplying local content will now be changes to using T&T’s “expertise”??
At least the cane juice vendor was sourcing his sugar cane locally and spending his profits at the local rum shop!!
…on Executing Committee
T&T’s and Guyana’s Energy Ministers will be implementing the MoU as the “Executing Committee”.
As a petroleum geologist with 20 years’ experience, TT’s Franklyn Khan will eat Granger’s inexperienced appointee alive!!