“We did pay a US$18M signing bonus” – Exxon Country Manager

ExxonMobil Guyana Counytry Manager, Rod Henson

Country Manager of ExxonMobil Guyana, Rod Henson, told media representatives on Sunday evening that the company did indeed pay a US$18M signing bonus to Guyana.

Mr. Henson, speaking on the sidelines of a Public Lecture on Oil Spill Response Readiness held at Queen’s College in Guyana’s capital, Georgetown, said, “Signing bonuses are customary and normal in many petroleum agreements. Not all, but in many around the world as part of the total financial agreement.”

He said in the case of Guyana when the agreement was finalized and negotiations were completed, “we did pay a US$18M signing bonus to the Bank of Guyana, to an account that is owned by the Government of Guyana and designated by the Ministry of Finance. Not to any individual but to a government bank account.”

He said the US oil major, as a commercial entity has no role in how the money is utilized by Guyana. “No role whatsoever. We operate with the highest standard of business conduct,” he said.

The Country Manager stressed that the company is a member of EITI and when Guyana becomes a fully compliant EITI country; such payments would have to be made public.

Mr. Henson added that disclosure of terms should apply to all companies across the board.


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  1. If this is standard in industry and ExxonMobil does it all of the time, why don’t they approach this differently to remove the shroud of secrecy that comes from countries not signed onto the EITI? They could, for example, put on their website that they have given a signing bonus to Guyana. They could, for example, discuss this with the Guyanese public. Now that the Guyanese public knows about this signing bonus, we think it’s peanuts. ExxonMobil – do tell what analytical equipment exists in Guyana to monitor a dispersant? Share the environmental and baseline surveys of the marine and coastal environment that ExxonMobil has conducted given you are dealing with a country that has not invested in any systematic way to conduct those studies and archive the data. 20 million is a joke for the extent of potential damage this venture can cause, the value of the resource, and the continual denial of climate denial.

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