Global Witness may say that Guyana could lose US$55B from the controversial Stabroek Block agreement between Government, ExxonMobil, Hess and CNOOC.
But Chartered Accountant Nigel Hinds is of the view that the anti-corruption watchdog and its partner, Open Oil, were being modest. Hinds says that Guyana stands to lose as much as US$108B.
In an interview with Kaieteur News, Hinds noted that in the Global Witness report, it set a normal Government share between 65 percent and 85 percent, then went on to state that Guyana stands to lose US$55B based on the assumption that it should have gotten a deal that would give it a 69 percent share.
Hinds holds firmly to the view that 69 percent is too close to the lower end of that range, and that a fair share for Guyana would be better placed about the top of the range.
Attorney-at-Law and Chartered Accountant, Christopher Ram shares that view.
Hinds, who has studied Open Oil’s model, said that the difference between the 69 percent share used and the 52 percent share it says Guyana is getting under the current contract’s terms is 16 percentage points. He calculated that with a potential loss of US$55B, each percentage point amounts to US$3.3B.
Therefore, assuming that Guyana should get an 85 percent share, Hinds added an additional US$53.3B to the purported US$55B Guyana stands to lose.
“Thus, the total sellout is US$108.3 billion using the high end of the oil industry PSA.”
Hinds posited that the Global Witness report would be better titled – “SIGNED AWAY: How the Governments of Guyana were complicit in selling out Guyanese.”
Also mentioned by the accountant are the Kaieteur, Canje and Orinduik awards, which have all had their time under the public microscope amidst controversy over either their fiscal terms or the circumstances under which they were awarded.
He said that the Stabroek Block deal is a form of heresy against the people of Guyana, “done by a complicit Government”, and that the Government was not outwitted by ExxonMobil.
He noted that Guyana has produced some of the finest political, legal and financial leaders, including Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman.
“Truth is [that] a middle schooler would have made an exponentially better deal. The reality is that our Government representatives disgracefully self, power and entitlements and status over what is best for Guyana.”
Both the Global Witness report and the strictly confidential Clyde & Co report commissioned by Cabinet – but not yet officially released – paint a very comprehensive picture of how the negotiation process went about.
While Global Witness appeared to chide Trotman for refusing expert advice, the Clyde & Co report states that ExxonMobil may have pressured Government to agree to the deal in a very short period of time, so that it could not realize its own strength.
What is clear from the Clyde & Co report is that ExxonMobil steered the entire process.