Guyana Energy Dept. says oil consultant not employed by ExxonMobil

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Michael Warner, Oil Consultant

Director of Guyana’s Department of Energy (DE), Dr. Mark Bynoe, in a statement on Friday evening said he outrightly rejects the claims published in a section of the media, that oil consultant Dr. Michael Warner, who was hired to complete the country’s draft Local Content Policy, is employed by ExxonMobil and was hired through anything but a fair and transparent process.

In the article titled, “Sole sourced or open tender? Questions surface over contract awarded to ExxonMobil’s employee” the publication stated that “Dr. Warner is an employee of DAI, the contractor engaged by ExxonMobil to manage the Local Content Centre for Development”.

However, DE said it “rejects this statement as false, noting that it is yet another indication that the Kaieteur News rushed to publication instead of first checking its facts.”

“Dr. Warner is not an employee of ExxonMobil. Dr. Warner was at the time contracted with DAI, which is a huge consultancy firm, and he was doing some work with DAI, [which] has been contracted with ExxonMobil to assist with the establishment of the Centre for Local Business Development here. Since Dr. Warner has started this…local content process with us he has severed links with DAI.  In fact, he is doing just part-time work with DAI and other individuals, and as a result of that we are comfortable that we are getting value for money where Dr. Warner is concerned,” Dr. Bynoe said.

The Director said he is “perturbed by the Kaieteur News article” as the paper had posed this same question to him at DE’s press conference hosted on May 3, 2019 and he believed that he had addressed it then.

Additionally, he rejected what he described as “the ambiguities in the paper’s questions” about the hiring process for the post, noting that Dr. Warner was selected as the best candidate to execute the project from among a total of three applications. This is following a limited competitive selection process, which is in keeping with World Bank regulations, Dr. Bynoe stated.