June 25, 2017

Archives for April 3, 2017

ExxonMobil announces new oil discovery offshore Guyana

IRVING, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) announced On Thursday  positive results on the Snoek well offshore Guyana, confirming a new discovery on the Stabroek Block. Drilling targeted similar aged reservoirs as encountered in previous discoveries at Liza and Payara.

“The latest discovery at Snoek demonstrates the continued success we have achieved in this technically complex play, which is just part of the significant exploration province offshore Guyana,” said Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company.

ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd. commenced drilling of the Snoek well on Feb. 22, 2017 and encountered 82 feet (25 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. The well was safely drilled to 16,978 feet (5,175 meters) in 5,128 feet (1,563 meters) of water on March 18. The Snoek well is located in the southern portion of the Stabroek Block, approximately 5 miles (9 km) to the southeast of the 2015 Liza-1 discovery.

Following completion of the Snoek well, the Stena Carron drillship has moved back to the Liza area to drill the Liza-4 well.

“As we continue to evaluate the full potential of the broader Stabroek Block, we are also taking the necessary steps to ensure the safe, cost-efficient and responsible development of this world-class resource, which can provide long-term, sustainable benefits to the people of Guyana,” said Greenlee.

The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometers). Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is operator and holds 45 percent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30 percent interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25 percent interest.


Town Clerk should proceed on leave

Dear Editor,

The Minister of State has indicated the Government’s policy is to ensure that officers do not accumulate annual leave and in turn request pay in lieu of such. He said that this was the practice that they have embraced since they came into office and this sounds quite reasonable.

But why then doesn’t this same law apply to the Town Clerk of Georgetown, Royston King, who has years of annual leave accumulated.

Indeed, there could be no better time than now, for him to be made to take his leave, as there has been a suggestion that an audit in some shape or form may soon be undertaken at the Council.

Additionally, with the Minister of Communities suspending the operation of the by-laws, which governs the parking meter project for three months to allow for the review of the agreement, again it would be a good idea to have the Town Clerk, a major player in the process, recused because of a potential conflict of interest or lack of impartiality.

There is an old saying, “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.” Or is King above the law? One gets the feeling that he is indispensable, and should he take his leave then the entire City Council would collapse. Time off work is important for health and well-being, and it also helps increase productivity. Creating an environment that encourages taking accrued holiday leave offers the opportunity to improve the mood and productivity of workers.

The Human Resources Manager of the Council should be sanctioned for encouraging this malpractice and unprofessional conduct.


Mateo Phelephe


AFC has lost credibility and political support

Dear Editor,

In my conversations with Guyanese voters in travels around Guyana over the last several months, I found that the AFC has lost its credibility and virtually all of its support in its coalition arrangement with the PNC (APNU=PNC as the other parties in the coalition have no support).

The population had much faith and confidence in the AFC to lead the country away from poor governance. Instead, the AFC has been seen as contributing to, and aligning itself with, the worst form of governance since independence in 1966.

The political goodwill that people had for the AFC has been completely frittered away because of the party’s inability or unwillingness to rein in the PNC from its corrupt acts and dictatorial ways. Many describe the party’s behaviour as opportunistic and unworthy of continued support. AFC supporters complain about the AFC endorsing and supporting the PNC-led coalition regime’s policy of terminating workers, many of whom supported the AFC; and of victimizing those who are perceived as PPP supporters, while at the same time protecting PNC supporters.

As found in surveys and obtained from so many conversations with people from all walks of life, those who supported the AFC in 2006, 2011 and 2015 (in coalition with the PNC) spoke of how the leadership has failed to deliver on promises and carry out the Cummingsburg Agreement. They say the party has betrayed them by entering into a coalition with the PNC and by failing to force the PNC to honour its commitments in the Cummingsburg Accord — sharing political power and office.

If an election were held now and the AFC were to contest as a separate entity, it would be hard-pressed to win a seat. However, many of those (former PPPites) who supported the AFC are not returning to the PPP. They say they will not vote for the PPP unless the party completely reforms and sheds some of the characters in its leadership. Some of the former AFC supporters say they will support the URP or some new political movement, because they can’t bring themselves to return to the PPP that ill-treated them. Those PNCites who crossed over to the AFC have returned to the PNC, with a small number saying they would stay out of another election unless there is a new political party that is worthy of their support.

For the AFC to redeem itself and recover lost support, it would have to take a tough line against the PNC, withdrawing support for policies of the PNC that have been hurting its supporters and the nation at large.

Yours truly,

Vishnu Bisram

Some Govt Ministers not suited for those positions

Dear Editor,

I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to the President for being the only President in our country’s history to clearly outline the requirements for someone to fill the vacant position of Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission. Bravo, Mr President!

Now that you have done that, can you now let us know what is/are the requirement(s) for someone holding the position of a Minister of the Government? It would appear to me that most of the persons currently serving as Ministers may not be able to confirm with your standard. Some of them are total failures and an embarrassment to our Government and people.

While you are at that, Mr. President, it would be helpful if you can also let us know what qualities a person must possess to respectively be President and Prime Minister of our country. My gut feeling is that the current holders are not qualified to hold those positions.

I need your help, Mr President.


Charles Sugrim


Guyana Govt’s decision to VAT private education is immoral

Dear Editor,

The Guyana’s Private Schools United is heartened by the support we received for our first peaceful protest exercise outside the Finance Ministry. The turnout, we hold, is indicative of the groundswell that is emerging against the imposition of VAT on education. Our presence also confirms that the Government’s intention to have a more socially cohesive society is being spurred by what we hold is not only a wrong, but immoral, decision.

We reiterate that education is a right and we should not be penalised for our choices. We, like all right-minded parents, are only seeking to have a ‘Good Life’ for our children. Our body holds that the issue of tax compliance is a red herring meant to distract from the additional burden that is being placed on our already overburdened backs. The Government and the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) should fulfil their mandate and not seek to make us victims of their laxity.

Our movement as is demonstrated is made up of persons from all strata of society and united in a common cause against this injustice meted out against us. Important as we forge ahead and trumpet our clarion call is the need for us to encourage others to join our movement. Do not be despondent and afraid; let us not be lulled. In unity, there is strength and our strength will take us to victory!

We need to be the voices for our children and as the Song of Guyana’s Children says let us show: “What Guyana’s sons and daughters can be”.

 Education is a right! No to VAT on education!


Dr Brian O’Toole


APNU/AFC scared of running against Jagdeo

Dear Editor,

Withoutdoubt, the greatest obstacle to an APNU/AFC re-election bid in 2020 is the man who now holds the strategic positions of Leader of the Opposition and General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Mr Bharrat Jagdeo!

Now that the Guyana Court of Appeal has cleared the way for his re-election, the PNC/APNU fear of Jagdeo is justified; and for good reasons. That is why this ruling will soon be challenged in the nation’s highest court, the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Although the PPP/C has not made a decision as to who the presidential candidate will be, the thought of running against this political maestro must be nerve-racking for the coalition leadership.

For many years while in opposition, the APNU/AFC cleverly executed a long, sustained campaign of destroying the character and credibility of the People’s Progressive Party by painting the Party and its leadership as corrupt and racist.

The questions remain: Was the PPP/C Administration corrupt? And is the former President and now Leader of the Opposition, Mr Bharrat Jagdeo, a racist? Who else is more qualified to answer these questions than someone who had, for a long time, been a major critic of both the PPP/C and Bharrat Jagdeo?

You see, years ago, while living in New York, I was a known critic of the Jagdeo Administration, writing regular letters to the press demanding transparency and accountability. But back then I had allowed myself to be influenced by all the negative news coming out of Guyana from the independent press, and the daily criticism of the Jagdeo-led PPP government by Mark Benschop on his Internet radio, a medium popular among Guyanese in the diaspora.

Over the years since, I’ve tried to right a wrong and to recognise and support the PPP/C for good governance; for rescuing Guyana from economic disaster caused by the policies of the then Minister of Finance in the PNC Government, Carl Greenidge; and for improving the quality of life of every Guyanese, more so those living in opposition strongholds like Linden and Buxton, and our Amerindian brothers and sisters who have long been neglected by the PNC regime.

I had good reasons to justify my apologies to former President Bharrat Jagdeo for the harm I’ve caused to his credibility and character. For without knowing the facts, I had committed an injustice by judging him too harshly.

As a PPP/C Member of Parliament, I am living proof that the man holds no grudge, and is committed to work with anyone who genuinely holds the national interest at heart. Knowing Mr Bharrat Jagdeo as I do now, the conditions under which he was able to transform a bankrupt Guyana into a thriving economy while dealing with an obstructionist, non-cooperative PNC parliamentary Opposition has strengthened my resolve and confidence in his leadership, his love of country, and his desire to improve the quality of life of all Guyanese, regardless of race or ethnicity.

And despite the many accusations made against him by his enemies, I can honestly and unequivocally say that Bharrat Jagdeo is not racist. The APNU/AFC will be convinced of this after the 2020 elections results are announced.

The attack on Jagdeo’s character is a deliberate, sustained effort to undermine the PPP by discrediting the Leader of the Party.


Harry Gill, MP