Home Letters Daily oil production reports are a good, essential starting point
Speaking as an old (alumina) plant operator, I would like to encourage my fellow Guyanese citizens to accept that the daily oil production reports promised by Hon. VP Dr. Bharat Jagdeo are a good and essential starting point for knowing of, and validating the quantities of oil being produced. We have heard the saying, “good fences make good neighbours”, and similarly, good accounting builds trust and good relations.
True, those daily results would be based largely on flow meters whose calibration accuracy and stability may be called into question even before any thought of any deliberate bias or adjustment by any Exxon employee along the production chain. These flows would indicate performance efficiencies and recoveries from the field, in on-ship processing, spills/ losses, etc. – figures in which individual managers may have an interest and sections /departments may differ.
A common situation is that, on a day-to-day basis, production from flow measurements gives the best figure, but over longer periods – months and years – shipping (including storage tank changes over the period) provide more accurate numbers. I would expect that there would be monthly reconciliation of the sum of these daily production figures with the production quantity obtained from the sum of shipments during the month and inventory (storage tank) changes over the month, and similarly over a year.
Concerning monitoring of the operations by Guyanese, I would expect that one or more knowledgeable officers from the GGMC (as of now) would be on board, continuously receiving (daily) a sufficiency of previously discussed operating reports, and utilising their alert eyes and ears. Additionally, for any arrival and departures of vessels in Guyana, officers of the GRA would be present, (along with the GGMC officers) to oversee and check arrival and departure drafts, which would determine quantities loaded.
One could further reconcile these “outloading” with reports on discharge at various ports, which may be available in various specialised news and other reports. Then there are various voluntary and statutory periodic reports, including stockholders’ reports of participating companies, which provide additional checks.
In oil production and any other significant matter, we should be suspicious like doubting Thomas, and guard against being cheated by anyone, foreign or local. We cannot be sure beforehand whether or not there would be cheating. Once we are thoughtful, persistent and patient, and carry out knowledgeable checks, any attempt to cheat us would soon become evident.
Samuel A A Hinds
Former President and