Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo has assured that the auditing of ExxonMobil’s expenses will be up-to-date by mid-next year.
During a recent press conference, Jagdeo explained that the audits are being conducted in phases rather than individual years. He referred to the 2019 audit, which marked the initial examination of cost claims by ExxonMobil Guyana Limited (formerly known as Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited) for the pre-production period. Despite some delays, this audit has been successfully executed and focused on scrutinizing ExxonMobil’s expenses, amounting to US$1.6 billion between 1999 and 2017.
Simultaneously, Jagdeo mentioned an audit initiated in 2022, covering the oil company’s US$7.3 billion expenditure from 2018 to 2020, which is still ongoing.
Jagdeo asserted that with one audit completed and another in progress, only the years 2021 to 2023 remain to be audited. Notably, the government aims to award the contract for this third audit by year-end, with completion expected by mid-next year, ensuring it stays on track with the auditing process.
He also addressed concerns about the duration of the first audit and its delays. Jagdeo clarified that the only reason the audit conducted by IHS Markit took some time to be finalized was due to recent issues between the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Guyana Revenue Authority, and ExxonMobil.
Controversy arose when a staff member of the Ministry of Natural Resources’ Petroleum Department engaged with ExxonMobil’s local subsidiary regarding the audit and the disputed US$214 million in expenses, which resulted in an adjustment to US$3M.
Nevertheless the government has acknowledged that this engagement should not have occurred and has committed to investigating and resolving the issue.