As at year-end 2021, ExxonMobil Guyana’s assets totaled $1.3 trillion, an increase of 30 percent over the previous year which the company says mostly reflects substantial incremental investments in the Stabroek Block.
Significant sums have been invested by Exxon and its co-venturers at the Stabroek Block over the years, representing exploration and development costs for major projects, two of which are already producing and two more under construction. Several more projects are planned in the coming years which are expected to push Guyana’s total output above one million barrels of oil per day.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the company assured that Guyana is in no way liable for these significant investments, and essentially does not owe the company a cent.
“Now there is no responsibility to Guyana, the Government of Guyana for our investments,” Vice President and Business Service Manager, Phillip Rietema. “The investments are made by our investors in the projects, and it’s the projects themselves that need to pay back the investment.”
Under the Production Sharing Agreement the company has with Guyana, cost is recovered at a ceiling of 75 percent from oil produced and sold.
“If for some reason – and we think this is unlikely – but if for some reason the projects don’t pay back, there will be no liability, no debt to Guyana or the people of Guyana,” Rietema.
United States based analytics firm, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), has been quoted in local media as saying each citizen in Guyana owes Exxon some GYD$9 million.
Guyana’s Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, at a recent press conference had also debunked this claim.
“The only debts that this country has to repay are debts contracted or guaranteed by the state, and I told you already that is only 16% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). So, no debt contracted by Exxon or any of these companies are guaranteed, or we are party to. So, the citizens of this country do not have to pay,” Dr. Jagdeo had stated.