According to Guyana’s Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, Esso Exploration & Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), and its two international partners, Hess Corporation and CNOOC/NEXEN, all data found from the operators’ seismic surveys, along with all other geological and geophysical information, must be shared with the relevant authorities here, one being the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).
GGMC Commissioner Newell Dennison confirmed with the Guyana Standard today that ExxonMobil and its partners have been compliant in this regard. However, he noted that no independent review has been conducted on all the data received. According to him, the Commission does not have the capacity for this type of work as yet.
Dennison said, “They have been sharing all the data with us…But I believe we should have all that information reviewed on a regular basis. It is a lot of data and we are not able to keep up and even lend the little knowledge that we have in that area. We should be making our own prognosis. But, at this point, we don’t have any special arrangements in place for that.”
The GGMC Commissioner is hopeful that with the recruitment that is taking place at the Energy Department, some consideration would be made for this.
Since the discovery of oil in 2015, local and international experts, as well as development partners such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have urged the APNU+AFC administration to independently review all data it receives from ExxonMobil on the size of Guyana’s reserves as early as possible. More than three years later, the government moved to create an Energy Department which is now looking to recruit several experts and advisory services.
But a perusal of all the contracts published on the Ministry of the Presidency’s website reveals that an expression of interest is yet to be made for an advisory firm or expert to assist the authorities with independent reviews. (See link for all contracts: https://motp.gov.gy/index.php/notices/terms-of-reference?start=30) .
Calls to Energy Department Head, Dr Mark Bynoe, to ascertain when such services would be sought, unfortunately, proved futile.