Guyana will not be blindly signing off on any cost ExxonMobil or any other oil major may seek to recover. According to Petroleum Advisor to the Government, Matthew Wilks, a thorough audit would be done. If excessive costs are detected and there is no proper justification, then the Energy Department would disallow it.
Wilks made these and other statements during a press conference held earlier today at the Ministry of the Presidency. There, Wilks said, “…Let me just put it very bluntly, if anyone tries to charge costs which are unwarranted or not benchmarked to norms or are excessive, the Department will reject them. That is the purpose of cost recovery audits. It is not merely to sign off on costs. It is to say no under the right circumstances…”
The Petroleum Advisor said this is the reason why the Department is in search of getting qualified companies which have experience in conducting cost recovery audits.
He said, “We are looking for companies which have benchmarking capabilities so they can look at the costs and they can tell the government if it is excessive or in the right order…”
Wilks added, “If anything is excessive and there is no good reason for it being done so, it will be disallowed… If an operator spends too much or gold plates or doesn’t seek cost efficiency, it might be spending its own money and not the government’s because we will disallow it, pure and simple.”