OIL: Exxon-Mobil: The people have a right to question gas-to-shore project – Opinion

– Jagdeo’s ‘no brainer’ comment is arrogant and insulting – Christopher Ram

Mar 28, 2021 – Kaieteur News – “Disappointing, arrogant and insulting.”
That was how Chartered Accountant and Attorney-at-Law, Christopher Ram, (photo at left)  describes the recent comment made by Vice President (VP), Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, that the financial feasibility of Government’s intended multibillion dollar gas-to-shore project is a “no-brainer.”

The project, since being announced by the Irfaan Ali administration has faced its share of criticisms by industry experts despite having strong support from the nation’s leaders.   

One such criticism is its economic soundness. That aspect seems not be of much concern for Government as the VP and local oil boss publicly announced that it was a “no-brainer” as the project would significant reduce the cost of power forVice President (VP), Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo all Guyanese, in response to the many concerns raised at the way the project was being handled.

Ram, who is also a staunch anti-corruption advocate, stated clearly that Guyanese, as taxpayers and citizens have “every right” to information on projects and expenditure in their name and the Government has a corresponding duty to both consult and inform.

He stated “Emboldened by the mild response to his description of the proposed gas-to-shore project as a “no-brainer,” Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, compounded his statement by referring to the tininess of the brains of persons who dared to raise legitimate questions about a multi-year, multimillion dollar project.”

“The statements by Mr. Jagdeo are more than disappointing. They are insulting; smack of the kind of arrogance which we all hoped had been put behind us, and reminiscent of Joe Harmon,” Ram continued.

Cleaner, cheaper and more reliable electricity are just a few key benefits Guyana can gain from its intended project slated. And considering the fact that Guyana is plagued with frequent blackouts, having a stable power grid would be a refreshing change.

But on the other hand, Ram pointed out that there are several options to meet that demand with a range of market, price, technological, engineering and environmental factors involved: “Natural gas is by all accounts superior to gasoline and diesel, but it is still fossil fuel and still has consequences for the environment,” he said, asking “Is the PPP/C now turning its back on its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and was that strategy purely transactional, devoid of any genuine commitment to sustainability?”

Ram also pointed to the Government’s “mixed” track record with previous developmental projects including the Amelia Falls Hydro Project, Skeldon Modernization Project and the Del Conte Road Project to advise that the gas-to-shore project be taken up by the Committee of the National Assembly and be open to consultations by all Guyanese.

Government has already identified the former Wales Estate as the location for the onshore infrastructure with a crude estimation for the cost of the project standing between US$500-800 million depending on the design, pipeline size and surveys.

Presently, ExxonMobil is in the process of selecting suitable firms to conduct four studies before moving to the construction phase of the project. Those are an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), a Lidar study, along with Geotechnical and Geophysical studies. The results of those studies are expected to inform the design of the pipeline.

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On 03/29/2021 at 4:48 am

    Very interesting article.
    Does Guyana and it’s government advisers have
    the qualification to determine a projects viability? It’s VP received his “doctrination” in Moscow funded by Russian oligarchs.
    Where corruption is endemically part of the
    Putin’s culture…”thief as long as you don’t get caught”…and if you do a “backhander”
    will take care of things. Sad lot !
    Corruption should not be tolerated
    with anti corruption laws enacted and rigorously
    enforced. No ifs or but !
    Agree transparency and accountability is way forward.

    Unfortunately endemic corruption is everyone’s
    concern and politicians should be “pressured”
    by protesting for introduction of anti corruption
    laws. MSM and social media is the tool of change.

    Not holding my breadth that this change will happen sooner than later. !
    Am usually optimistic for change.

    Kamtan uk-ex-EU

  • Dennis Albert  On 03/29/2021 at 9:21 am

    Freddie Kissoon and Chris Ram own property which has gone up exponentially thanks to the oil companies.

  • brandli62  On 03/29/2021 at 11:35 am

    A message to the VP:
    “Arrogance diminishes wisdom.” (Arabic proverb).

  • brandli62  On 03/29/2021 at 11:39 am

    The gas-to-shore project is important and needs to be completed. It requires however careful planning and Guyana is best advised to get the best international experts on board as advisors.

    I would also like to make the readership with an interest in the topic aware of an informative video interview by Oilnow with Kevin Ramnarinel, who is excellent, very knowledgable and competent on the topic.

  • wally n  On 03/29/2021 at 12:22 pm

    For me Trinidad offers a great What Not to do list. I think Guyana must remember Oil/Gas closing windows, not from running out, but from misled environmentalist around the world who,if given a chance will press a button, see US (today).
    Guyana should explore opportunities to get every penny out of these assets, and if I read the Trini correctly, spend a large portion on Hydro Electricity, bad planning now forcing them to go to “Look Good” solution Solar Panels. There is enough information, experts, hanging around to help Guyana, use it and them, plan for far down the line, the good times may stop at a moment’s notice.

  • brandli62  On 03/29/2021 at 3:19 pm

    For T&T, hydroelectric energy is not an option. Solar energy is a good alternative. In combination with gas-powered electric plants, this is a good combination for T&T. Guyana has a more options, including hydroelectric power. First priority should be the transition from diesel or heavy oil powered electricity plant to gas-powered ones. Learning from T&T’s mistakes is also imperative.

  • wally n  On 03/29/2021 at 5:01 pm

    If karma exists Trinidad is going to come around BEGGING for energy in every form from Guyana. There are a few people around that remember how Guyanese were treated by T&T. I don’t know how difficult/expensive it is going Oil to Gas, fortunately Guyana has time to do the necessary research. The running blackouts not caused by lack of fuel, poor maintenance planning, I am sure.
    Trinidad might consider nuclear, no International objection, maybe cooling water problems…who cares.
    Friend of my wife lives there and Guyana back and forth, they connect everyday, she told my wife negative changes can be easily seen now, especially among the youth, and of course remarks against foreigners especially the ole scapegoat Guyanese.
    They are not in a position to lecture anyone about planning, totally unqualified.
    As you might say, hey, I am biased.

    • kamtanblog  On 03/29/2021 at 6:33 pm

      Simple Simon suggests
      Gas/solar/nuclear way forward.
      Not too keen on hydro “environmental”
      issues ! There is an hydro dam in Venezuela
      borders with Guyana that has fallen into disrepair/maintainance issues.
      Have 10 solar panels on my roof that
      feeds into grid any excess electricity it produces.
      During daytime it generates free electricity
      for my household appliances use age.
      It has halved my monthly electricity
      bill. No maintainance neccessary.
      Lifespan 25+ years. Hopefully future
      homes will be built with solar roofing.
      Tiles have to be replaced after 40+ Years.
      Cost of panels have also been reduced
      considerably with manufacturing.
      Do believe using sun as a future energy
      source is very viable/cost effective.
      Cleanest energy source by far.

      My two cents

      Kamtan uk-ex-EU

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