Government’s failure to establish a framework for the predictable oil and gas sector has not gone unnoticed. In fact, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said with the continued absence of such a framework for this sector, it should be a major cause for concern.
Jagdeo speaking at the Commissioning of Mohamed’s Enterprise Laydown Facility on Sunday said this framework for which Government had promised to work on, includes an independent petroleum commission, a Sovereign Wealth Fund, auctioning of future oil blocks and also Local Content Legislation.
The former President said he thinks the whole country is crying out for clarity on several issues regarding this sector. He also feels Government has to take the lead to provide an environment that will be predictable and conducive to investment from local and international companies.
“All I’m doing is making a case to plea for more investments of this nature…that we have greater clarity in defining the framework within which we are going to develop this industry because that is essential for ordinary Guyanese. They need a clear vision of how they will benefit from this, as well as our business community,” he stated.
In making reference to the controversy surrounding the ExxonMobil contract, he said assuming that it is a done deal, Government has said future contracts will not share or enjoy the same terms that was concluded in that deal with the United States (US) oil major.
“So, almost two years down the road, we are yet to see a framework that will define what future contracts would look like. What is it that ExxonMobil got that future investors will not, and what they did not get that we may want to give?” he questioned.
Further, Jagdeo said in the absence of that information, not only could it affect investments here, but people coming to negotiate new deals now, “they will cry out for that clarity because they are unsure of what future negotiations would be like.”