Guyana focusing on benefits of oil contract; not renegotiation – Minister of State

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Joseph Harmon , Guyana’s Minister of State

Guyana’s Minister of State Joseph Harmon says the Production Sharing Agreement between ExxonMobil and the South American country is binding and the David Granger led administration will be looking ahead, focusing on the benefits to be accrued when oil production begins in 2020.

The government, the Minister of State said, will be “guided by our international experts, we will be guided by what is best practice going forward” since the pact is essentially a done deal.

Mr. Harmon made the disclosure on Thursday as he addressed the Guyanese media and sought to definitively dismiss any notion of a likely renegotiation of the ‘contract’ with the US oil exploration giant and the APNU-AFC administration.

“The President has said that we are moving forward, that we have signed a contract, we have commitments under the contract, and we will work with what we have,” he said.

Mr. Harmon was at the time speaking with a section of the Guyanese Press Corps at the Georgetown based Ministry of the Presidency.

Addressing the persistent calls from some sections of the public for the contract to be renegotiated, Mr. Harmon told reporters, “…these are not matters that as a government that we are going back on…we looking at going forward we are looking at the benefits to be accrued from this contract and from all future contracts.”

Head of State, President David Granger earlier this week had told reporters on the sidelines of a swearing in ceremony at state house that there was no notion of a renegotiation but that the matter had been engaging Cabinet.

Reinforcing the Head of State’s position, Mr. Harmon was adamant, “The President has said it; that we have dealt with the ExxonMobil contract, and we are not going back on it, we are not going back on it…it was dealt with at Cabinet and the President has pronounced on the matter and that is the final pronouncement as far as we are concerned.”