Chartered accountant, attorney and anticorruption advocate, Christopher Ram, is of the firm conviction that the President of ExxonMobil, Alistair Routledge, was totally out of place when he recently threatened Guyana, a sovereign state, by asserting that the oil giant will take its investments elsewhere if it does not get its way with the Payara Field Development Plan (FDP).
Ram said it was improper for him to go public with what essentially constitutes a threat while adding that such arrogance and disrespect would not be tolerated by Guyanese.
He explained, “It is disrespectful for a company to treat a sovereign country like this. I don’t think that kind of approach is going to succeed with Guyana. Also, I really don’t think it is in Exxon’s interest, and its partners, to behave as arrogant as the President of ExxonMobil did.”
The Chartered Accountant said it is clear that ExxonMobil wants Guyana in the same position it had the APNU+AFC in 2016 where it got what it wanted in the Stabroek deal and more, on a platter. He said that some of the things it got were also illegal, “but it can’t be the same, Guyana won’t tolerate that nonsense anymore.” The attorney-at-law believes that the PPP/C administration should write Routledge and express its displeasure with his “not so cleverly disguised threat to a sovereign country.” Ram stressed the new government cannot allow itself to be bullied on the first possible occasion by Exxon. “Guyanese will not accept that,” he added.
It seems that the approval by the government for the FDP is being held up over concern for two key environmental issues.
The first matter relates to flaring. ExxonMobil wants to keep the loopholes it got in its Liza One and Two permits which allowed for flaring while the other matter pertains to the dumping of toxic water in the ocean from the company’s operations.
Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency has been opposed to allowing the multi-national to have its way on these critical issues. Since these matters have been exposed in the media, ExxonMobil declared that it could take its investments elsewhere.