Seven million barrels of oil will be lifted before Guyana takes our share, which would be the eighth-millionth produced. Assuming peak production, our first share can be lifted in March and every sixty-seven days thereafter. The schedule of collection of shares of oil, referred to as a lifting agreement, by the operator, ExxonMobil, its partners Hess and CNOOC, and Guyana is yet to be negotiated and signed. Given our political situation, it may well be prudent to defer the lifting of Guyana’s share until the third quarter of 2020.
Importantly, Guyana would not lose any oil by deferring lifting; careful monitoring and simple mathematics would keep us abreast of our share volume. For example, as our share becomes available, we defer and we allow someone else to lift it, say, three times in a row, then we take ours and theirs the next three times. The current Department of Energy engenders no confidence that they are competent to perform basic tasks required to ensure Guyana gets the most revenue for our share of oil. The caretaker status of the government precludes signing any long-term agreements with any agency at this time.
Dr Bynoe has spent more time outside of his office talking to schoolchildren than inside it doing the preparatory work for first, second and even last oil. With less than eight weeks before production starts, Bynoe has now engaged a consultant to help with the process of finding the best agent to sell our oil. A few hours of research, coupled with conversations with various oil executives would produce a short-list of the best agencies, a blacklist of known rogues and an outline of desired requisites. Is there anything Bynoe can do without expensive, time-consuming consultants?
Editor, as I have noted previously, no long-term agreement can be entered into with any agency to market our share of oil. I cannot imagine the best agencies would/should not be interested in getting involved with Guyana’s oil under these circumstances. The operator, ExxonMobil can be contracted to lift and sell at least, our first million barrels in March of 2020, this would give Guyanese a chance to put transparent arrangements in place under a new administration something the Granger administration has neglected to understand. The oil is Guyana’s patrimony; transparency must be our watchword at all times.