First Oil officially kicked off on December 20, 2019. And from then to now, neither ExxonMobil nor the Government has provided Guyanese with daily updates on oil production figures. According to Attorney-at-Law, Charles Ramson Jnr., Guyanese have a right to this type of information while making a call for same to be immediately disclosed going forward.
The Petroleum Academic noted that civil society oversight is critical to the management of the sector and the building of trust when it comes to the collection of revenue for the sector.
Ramson said, “Being in the dark for long periods about the production rates and projections severely constrains the ability of the citizenry to have oversight. Exxon should be submitting this information to the government which should then make this information public.”
The Opposition Member told Kaieteur News that Guyanese need to know how quickly the company is expected to get to peak production, how the reservoir has been performing since production started, if it has been in keeping with its estimates, and what potential changes it foresees.
In the absence of same, Ramson said that all Guyanese are aware of is the date First Oil kicked off, and the announcement recently that a tanker is in Guyana’s waters to collect ExxonMobil’s entitlement of one million barrels of oil.
Ramson said, “So what has happened in between the time that First Oil started and the arrival of the tanker?
This is not a transparent method of managing the sector and for the independent and interested parties if there is an information blackout then it constrains the ability to have oversight.”
The Petroleum Academic said that this is yet another example of the government sleeping at the wheel but at the same time, limiting Guyanese participation and education on how the sector is evolving.
In order for the citizens to keep the wickedness some politicians or persons involved in the sector may have planned and at bay, Ramson asserted that transparency at all levels is an absolute requirement. He further noted that transparency on the production rates also mitigates the possibility of oil companies running rings around the population since the global community would be able to peruse what it provides and make its own assessments on reservoir performance.
The Petroleum Academic’s call would be in keeping with the disclosure requirements of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to which Guyana is a candidacy member.
The EITI body requires its members to ensure disclosures of information/data related to exploration and production which it believes is key to enabling stakeholders to understand the potential of the sector.