Head of the Energy Department, Dr. Mark Bynoe recently noted that the Government would be hiring technical expertise to help refine Guyana’s model Petroleum Sharing Agreement (PSA) which would be used to engage oil companies going forward.
But for Chartered Accountant and Attorney-at-Law, Christopher Ram, this is a sheer waste of time. This Oil and Gas Academic is of the firm view that the nation does not require international experts to say what needs to be done under the PSA to ensure that Guyana gets a larger share.
The Chartered Accountant pointed out that there are about six elements to the PSA which allocate shares to the State from an oil project. He said that these are: a bonus on the signing of the Petroleum Agreement; annual rental for the blocks based on hectares allocated; a production bonus on the issue of a production licence; a staggered profit share in which the State receives an increasing percentage of the revenue as production volumes increase; and income and corporate taxation, including withholding tax.
He said that other elements may include an equity stake in the operations; limitation on administrative charges; limitation on costs to be recovered in any year; and ring-fencing.
Ram said that the aforementioned are all that Guyana need to make significant alterations to in the contract in order to get it’s fair share of the wealth. “So we don’t need to waste money hiring international people to tell us this. We don’t need international help to tell us what is fair or what we deserve. It is not physics,” expressed an irate Ram.
To date, the Chartered Accountant said that comments from Dr. Bynoe offer no assurance that the confusion, incompetence, and dishonesty which have underlined the administration’s management of the sector will change fundamentally in the short term.
Ram on this note sought to urge Dr. Bynoe to “stop relying on foreigners to teach us how to think, how to manage, how to act, how and when to write, amend or repeal our laws.”
He insisted that there are Guyanese here who have much more intelligence, ability and competence than the administration is prepared to concede and subsequently make use of.