Hon. Joseph Harmon MSM, MP

Leader of the Opposition

 Statement on meeting with Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (Exxon Mobil)

April 22, 2021

 We have just concluded a successful high-level meeting with President of Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (Exxon Mobil) Mr. Alistair Routledge, Mr. Mike Ryan Production Manager and Ms Janelle Persaud, Public and Government Affairs Advisor

They briefed me and my team, which included Members of Parliament, Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, Amanza Walton Desir, David Patterson, Geeta Chandan Edmond, Ronald Cox, Roysdale Forde and Aubrey Norton, Executive Director of the Office of the Leader of the Opposition on the significant scaling down of operations which was described as a base level of 30,000 barrels per day.

This matter is of considerable concern to all of us given the impact it would have on Guyana’s earnings from the industry. We have been bombarded with questions and concerns from the public and our supporters and therefore took the opportunity to engage with Exxon to benefit from their direct explanations and to inform them of our position on the issues.

At the heart of the issue is the flaring of gas into the atmosphere and the operational efficiency of critical equipment. We informed Exxon Mobil that we are resolutely against flaring; except when permitted at pilot light level.  We inquired whether the people of Guyana will have to bear the cost associated with the malfunctioning equipment.

We are insisting that the issues be resolved as a matter of urgency and production can be safely returned to optimum levels.

While we seek to exploit our natural resources, we must maintain a strong commitment to doing so within a green framework with minimal effect to our environment on land and at sea and with respect for our laws.

We raised the issue of Exxon Mobil involvement in the gas to shore project and were given a commitment of a fuller presentation on all of these matters, recognising that this is a very important project to the development of Guyana and the lives of Guyanese.

Overall, I am satisfied with the tone and content of the meeting both Mr. Routledge and both sides expressed a strong desire to engage on a more regular basis. This was the first in what I anticipate to be a series of ongoing meetings. I would like to thank Mr. Routledge and his team for meeting with us and for the information and assurances which they provided.

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