If America started out as a nation of hustlers when it opened up and expanded its “Wild West” frontiers, the “snake oil” salesman became its archetypical figure. They insisted that their “patent medicine”, snake oil – extracted from their rattlers – could cure any ailment under the sun, and then some!! But they did sell the stuff by tankloads! This confirmed the wisdom of another con man, PT Barnum, who said, “A sucker’s born every minute!!”
Well it’s clear we’ve got more than our fair share of snake oil salesmen here. Your Eyewitness is sure your mind flashed to the wily Mr Cush of Smart City (infamy). But when you compare him to some of the operators in the Government, he’s clearly minor league. And we’re not even mentioning the billion or so sunken into a pile of rotting hardwood over at Durban Park by the Minister of Infrastructure! That’s chicken feed.
Think about the US$500,000,000 Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, is promising to sink into an “oil support facility” on Crab Island on the western end of the Berbice Bridge. That’s GY$100,000,000,000 folks! We’re talking about real money here – even with our dollar floating like a helium balloon into the stratosphere! But let’s look a bit closer at what the Minister’s selling.
Right off the bat, remember after all the drilling and spudding that’s been going on since 1999, Exxon’s the only company that’s struck oil. And they’ve said again and again that they’re ordering a Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) facility that will do just what the name says with their oil. Meaning the FPSO will suck up that oil from more than one mile below the sea, extract the water and natural gas that it’ll be mixed with, pump back the gas under the sea, and store the oil, that it will load onto tankers berthed to it.
Not a gallon of oil will touch Guyana’s shore! Now here it is, as the economy implodes faster than a planet sucked into a Black Hole, what does the Government tell all those supporters whom they promised JOBS IN THE OIL INDUSTRY!! The FPSO will, at max, employ 300 workers – and those will be mostly skilled foreigners. Well, for a while the snake oil salesman Trotman talked about an “oil refinery” — until every expert on the planet told him he was smoking Jamaican Gold.
So now he spouts the US$500M “oil support” facility. A US$500M investment to service a 300-man operation?? What will be the return? Where will the Government get all that money — 2 ½ times Skeldon! Hoping for another strike??
Trotman thinks he’s the Guyanese PT Barnum! And Guyanese are all fools.
Now that it’s clear that Guyana has a world-class oil find, the snake oil salesmen are gonna be coming out of the woodwork. Ain’t it wonderful how a PRIVATE company cornered the marketing of the opportunities to service the exploitation of the find? So how the heck does the rest of the Guyanese companies get a piece of the action? They’ll have to get past the self-appointed gatekeepers. Big Bucks!!
Did you get a peek at the companies gathered at the Marriott for the first show-and-tell? You didn’t even have to get INSIDE the door. The sold-out parking lot said it all. Guyanese MAY get some crumbs – if they’re lucky. The Trinis are hoping to make hay while the sun shines – and the oil flows – because of their 40-year headstart and their plummeting oil fortunes.
And not to be left out in the snake oil salesman sweepstakes – look who just showed up: Lawrence Duprey of Clico (in) fame!!
Talk about “bad pennies”!! But don’t hold your breath on getting back our US$40M!
The VC at UG — a self-defined “Renaissance Man — just made the UG Council drink Cool Aid. They approved a 35% hike in tuition fees!
And don’t ask him what he and his CABINET are making!!