Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo is urging that a comprehensive look be taken into whatever firm is brought to manage Guyana’s oil and gas revenue; noting the dangers of entrusting Guyana’s patrimony to the wrong people.
Jagdeo spoke on the matter during his most recent press briefing held this week.
At the time, he was asked to comment on the possibility of US investment firm Merryl Lynch coming to Guyana.
While he did not reference that firm, Jagdeo issued a general warning of the need to beware of opportunistic companies looking to make a profit at Guyana’s expense.
“We have to learn to sift them through, look at their CV’s, their track record, who delivers the greatest return if we are looking for fund managers…who will deliver the greatest returns on funds managed over a long historical period, pretty safe investments…all of those things have to be made at some point in time in the future. Right now you are going to have everyone under the sun coming here to try to be the fund managers.”
Merrill Lynch has for some time expressed an interest in being involved in managing Guyana’s oil finances.
In fact, representatives from the firm had reportedly met with Central Bank Governor Dr Gobind Ganga.
After its 10th discovery of oil in the Stabroek Block, ExxonMobil has estimated the recoverable resource in the block to be 5 billion oil equivalent barrels.
In addition, an independent assessment, or competent persons report, had found that 2.9 billion barrels of oil existed in the Orinduik block.
All of this will represent a monetary windfall for Guyana, which will be saved and invested through a Natural Resources Fund.
A green paper on the fund was recently laid in the National Assembly, but it is still in its planning stages.