The Energy Department is in the process of evaluating 34 oil traders and international operators with hopes of finding the most suitable marketer for Guyana’s crude. But some of the world’s most corrupt oil traders are part of the list. They include the likes of Gunvor, Mercuria Energy Group, Vitol, Glencore, and Petrobras via its subsidiary Petrobras Global Trading B.V.
Taking this into consideration, Trinidad and Tobago’s Energy Strategist, Anthony Paul said Guyana needs to be extremely cautious as the field of oil trading is highly corruptible. According to the international consultant, the oil trading field is hardly spoken of in his home country even though it is the reason Petrotrin failed. (Petrotrin was a state-owned oil company in Trinidad and Tobago and its principal activities were the exploration, development and production of hydrocarbons in addition to the manufacturing and marketing of petroleum products.)
The government advisor said, “…Guyana has to understand what’s involved in the value chain, what it wants to become and who the right partner to get it there is? All of those choices have to be governed by the principles of transparency and accountability or else Guyana may end up making the mistakes of others.”
Paul said it is not surprising that Guyana has 34 traders lined up to sell its sweet, light Liza crude. He stressed however that it is a hugely valuable resource and the margins of trading are quite high. “Guyana therefore needs to understand what’s at stake if it fails to get this right and be cautious with its selection,” the official concluded.