Drawing on the lessons learnt from the award of petroleum production permits with ambiguous terms and loopholes for abuse, the People’s Progressive Party / Civic (PPP/C) administration has tied ExxonMobil’s Payara project to strict provisions that will subject it to annual audits by an independent authority.
The terms of the petroleum production licence note that ExxonMobil shall facilitate and fully cooperate with annual audits of its Safety Critical Drilling and Production Operations, including waste management and compliance conducted by the Chief Inspector, pursuant to the laws of the land.
The licence goes on to state that within 30 days of its award date being September 30, 2020, and annually on such date thereafter for a total of five consecutive years, ExxonMobil has to pay US$400,000 into an account controlled by government for the procurement of third party auditors to supplement the work of the Chief Inspector as well as develop institutional capacity for ongoing audits.
Guyana Standard understands that the first audit will be conducted this year. The licence notes as well that ExxonMobil is required to meet with the Chief Inspector at his request to ensure any issues, concerns and/or recommendations arising out of the audit are complied with in a satisfactory matter.