DPI, GUYANA, Monday, September 18, 2017
By: Tiffny Rhodius
President David Granger was briefed by ExxonMobil’s President on Monday, September 18, 2017, about the oil company’s progress in the exploration of Guyana’s oil.
The briefing was held at Guyana’s Permanent Mission in New York. Before the closed-door meeting, the President noted that accountability in the country’s latest natural resource remains a priority in oil development.
“We’ve always asserted the need for transparency and accountability in this regard”, the President pointed out.
President of Exxon Stephen Greenlee, along with another executive, updated the President on “the measures that have been taken and the progress that has been made in terms of exploration”.
ExxonMobil made Guyana’s first significant oil discovery in 2015. Since then the company has made two other major discoveries in the Liza and Payara fields located in the Stabroek Block, for which it has license permits.
Currently, Exxon is carrying out first phase developments in the Liza field, in time for first oil by 2020. Greenlee noted that “Liza remains our top priority” for the company. Drilling for development wells will commence soon Greenlee noted. He added that there are no “outstanding issues” in this development phase.
The Exxon President also noted that the company continues to conduct exploration drilling alongside the Liza development. “The exploration well that we are drilling right now, we should see the results of that in the coming days”, Greenlee said. Exxon had commenced drilling of the Turbot field last month.
According to Greenlee, Exxon remains committed to developing Guyana’s local content in the industry. “Our goal is that when we are up and running…is to be like all the other places we work in we would employ over 90 percent nationals in our activities.”
Among other Guyanese officials also briefed were Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge, Minister of Public Affairs Dawn Hastings-Williams and Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Michael Ten-Pow.
President Granger assured that “in due course, everything that has been discussed between the Government and Exxon will be brought to the public” through the Government and its Legislative arm, the National Assembly.
While the President was understanding of the citizens’ concerns and calls for more transparency in the new industry he reiterated, “It is not prudent to make announcements prematurely while discussions are ongoing but both the government and the corporation are committed to accountability and transparency”.