GUYANA: OIL: Is Guyana the next Angola? Oil wealth with poverty, debt and corruption -Opinion

GUYANA BEWARE:  Apr 06, 2022 – Editorial – Kaieteur News

Since the 1990s, Angola has been the destination of the hunter-predators that are oil companies.  They went there in droves, and the names should be familiar to Guyanese because they are right here now.  America’s Exxon and France’s Total are two of the bigger names that led the charge into Angola.  From a peak of 1.9 million barrels a day, production declined to around 1.4 million barrels daily last year.

One would have thought that Angolans were rolling in prosperity, among the most well taken care of people in the world.  They are not, and now come the lessons, another cautionary tale for Guyanese.           

“One in three Angolans live below the poverty level, and more than half live on less than US$1.90 a day” (KN April 3).  Despite all that oil production, this was the harrowing reality of Angolans.  This was despite that other reality: their country was “ranked 15th in the world of top oil producers.” This was while Angolans were trapped in poverty and scratching out a living on about GY$400 a day.  Here is a country, a lesson for the dunces we have for leaders in Guyana, that was producing almost 2 million (1.9M) barrels of oil daily for years, and almost one and half million (1.4M) barrels of oil daily in 2021, and Angolans were still mired in debt and corruption.

Speaking of debt, Angola has a national indebtedness of US$76B.  The usual financing sharks, the pawnbrokers and sleazy moneylenders known as the IMF and World Bank, were in the thick of running to the rescue of stricken Angola to help it juggle its debt on a year-to-year basis.  The usual financing gimmicks put to work by the IMF and World Bank, among others, should also be well known to Guyanese: refinancing and debt forgiveness, they are called.  This was the spectacle of a country ranked 15th among top oil producers in the world with well over a million barrels produced daily, and it is forced to beg for money to get by.

We are not prophets of doom, but unless Guyana takes stock of what happened elsewhere with countries that had more oil than us, produced more than us, then it is destined to be blighted with the same fatal spiral of Angola.

Unless Guyanese citizens force Guyanese leaders not to go down the same road, then there is the highest risk that we could end up like Angola.  Right now, we are the talk of towns in Texas, New York, and Washington; we are the toast of places in Trinidad and Toronto and Toledo.  Everybody loves Guyana, everybody wants to lend Guyana money by the hundreds of millions and billions, and the PPP/C Government is a flurry of borrowings for numerous big money projects.

However, press leaders in this PPP/C Government to do what the international analysts and experts insist must be done, and both the President and Vice President transform into a state of paralysis.  They who were energetic and excited before are suddenly struck dumb, crippled into inaction.  Because they fear the wrath of the foreigners, they prefer to kneel to the dictates and interests of the men of Exxon.  The Vice President engages in destructive practices.  First, he balks at confronting Exxon to correct the enormous deficits (“fatal flaws”) in our oil contract by demanding renegotiations.  Second, he bets that high oil prices will boost the oil fund.  Third, he splurges on borrowings for possible white elephants.  Fourth, he paves the way for more corruptions everywhere.  Last, he gambles that he can deliver on this measly two percent deal.  Should he continue this way, and Guyana could (would) be the next Angola.

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  • Dennis Albert  On 04/10/2022 at 9:19 am

    How much killing going on and the other day I had to yell at a man who was beating his 4-year-old daughter with a PVC pile.

    I tell the man you lashing up your daughter while the oil companies just found another billion barrel oil.

    Man stop immediately and ask me if I mad. No wonder young people want to leave.

    • Emily  On 04/12/2022 at 6:38 am

      OMG! Did the police arrest the child abuser?

      • Dennis Albert  On 04/17/2022 at 9:09 am

        No just another day in the (oil) paradise we call Guyana. The White man is living large in Atlantic Gardens.

      • Brother Man  On 04/18/2022 at 1:44 am

        “The White man is living large in Atlantic Gardens.” Dennis Albert (Trevor).

        Why do you always bring up race? No one else on the blog is so fixated on a person’s skin colour.

      • Dennis Albert  On 04/18/2022 at 9:57 am

        So Black Lives do not matter then?

      • Brother Man  On 04/18/2022 at 12:09 pm

        Lame attempt to coverup your hatred.

        You have a history of stirring up race, going back years, when you called yourself Trevor. Just last week (off topic) you brought up White women sunbathing in Saudi resorts.

        All references to race should be done in context, not in wilful expressions of malice. Enough!

  • Alfred Butters  On 04/11/2022 at 9:01 pm

    There are lessons to be learned by examining oil producing nation states like Venezuela, Angola and all African indebtedness to the G 8.

    Spiraling undefined costs including: under researched industrial infrastructure development, Interim Capital financial contributions and retirement of start up capital amortization. over valued estimated revenues to cover pre operating, start up, systems and training and development accumulating debt, pre operating expenses escalation with out partnership cost sharing scheduled, utilizing grants, gifts ( none repayment types). Extensive training and costly equipment rental and leases with future payment schedules unrealistic projections of plant maintenance output, loss control self insurance. Under insured liabilities not assignable to owners of borrowed assets, under long term liability contractual agreement.

    Guyana if it’s leaders insist on being mavericks with dunce caps will find oil revenues falling faster than Venezuela, who’s financial bottom fellout when oil prices tanked and sales dried up where overhead costs, exceeded gross revenues.

    Guyanese are not equipped to deal with OPEC. Guyana must buy services to ship and store, process and refine, market and deliver to OPEC through subcontracts. All that costs can be negotiated but they won’t be because They are all sole source subject to fluctuations of price and availability beyond Guyanese control.

    Guyana will learn at a high prohibited cost. Guyana will over promise and under deliver with in 15 years. It is as simple as Exxon owning the infrastructure and limit production. It’s that simple. Time will tell.

    • Emily  On 04/12/2022 at 6:41 am

      Guyana already has a Dutch Disease. Check the real estate listings. US$5,000 to rent a American-sized bungalow in Greater Georgetown where the oil waste is being dumped at the waters. Bad deal for an American-Guyanese like myself.

      LA is expensive, but I worked for US$20/hr as a Starbucks barista when I was in my undergrad. The Guyanese tell me that they work for US$10 a day despite the massive oil wealth that they claim to have.

  • Bernard  On 04/12/2022 at 10:17 pm

    Why would the Government of Guyana sign a daft contract with ExxonMobil to receive only two percent of oil revenues?

    That is total insanity!

  • theonly  On 04/13/2022 at 2:41 pm

    Still trying to sell more news paper.

    • Bernard  On 04/14/2022 at 7:30 am

      There are eerie similarities between the southwestern African country of Angola and Guyana:

      1- the oil rigs are way beyond the horizon offshore.

      2- Guyana’s oil rigs are 200 miles offshore.

      3- ExxonMobil and British Petroleum are the big players in Angola.

      4- Exxon and British companies are similarly involved in Guyana.

      The people of Angola are dirt poor, have never benefited from oil revenues, are dying of starvation, including babies.

      The oil companies control the production and distribution of oil revenues in both Angola and Guyana.. The government of Angola is corrupt and government officials live well, the sole beneficiaries of Angola oil.

      Guyana needs to avoid the pitfalls and corruption of Angola as well as renegotiate a better share of revenues with the foreign operators.

      • Dennis Albert  On 04/17/2022 at 9:10 am

        That’s right!

        The only Guyanese getting rich from this oil are the BaiShaiLing aka SU, Jagdeos, Beharrys, Alphonsos, Shells, and the drug dealers.

  • Dennis Albert  On 04/18/2022 at 9:06 pm

    Kaieteur News had previously reported that Redford, is a former politician, for one, with a career plagued by scandal. As Premier of the Canadian province of Alberta, she drew widespread public controversy in Canada when it was discovered that during her attendance of the funeral of Nelson Mandela the State footed the CAD$45,000 cost of her trip, including about CAD$10,000 for a privately chartered return flight from South Africa. Redford reportedly refused several calls to repay the money spent for the South Africa trip, but eventually bowed to pressure in 2014 and delivered the funds back to the public purse, with an apology.

    Kaieteur News had also reported that Redford announced her resignation in March 2014 as Alberta Premier, and as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in August of that year, a day before an Attorney General (AG) report on her spending practices was scheduled for release. The AG report found that she and her office had “used public resources inappropriately”; “used public assets (aircraft) for personal and partisan purposes” and that Redford “was involved in a plan to convert public space in a public building into personal living space.”

    All of this, Kaieteur News ventilated shortly after the Government had announced that it hired Redford in August 2020 to review the Payara FDP which is Exxon’s third oil project in the Stabroek Block.

    Given the foregoing, industry experts who have spoken with this newspaper said the PPP/C Government should reveal how the Redford consultancy was allowed to participate in the FDP review for Yellowtail Project without being subjected to the Procurement Law requirements.

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