US oil major ExxonMobil, operator in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, says it remains committed to forging a strong partnership with the Guyanese people and not with any one individual or political party.
Liam Mallon, the company’s President for Upstream Oil and Gas, was asked at a recent presentation in the United States how he views the potential risk in the South American country, where political tensions have been rising ahead of early elections triggered by a no confidence vote against the government.
“I think the biggest risk is when we’re dealing with a personal safety risk,” he said, referring to security fears in Mozambique where an insurgency has raised safety concerns among multinationals operating in the country. “We won’t put our people into an environment that we can’t keep them safe,” he stated.
Regarding the political situation in Guyana, Mallon said this is a scenario the company has dealt with in many countries around the world. “I think the key thing to think about is developing the right partnerships with the country. So, for Guyana, I really don’t think about it as necessarily what’s the risk with party A or party B, we really do approach it as a partnership with Guyana,” he pointed out.
“And I think if you have that mindset, first of all, your stakeholders are broad enough that it’s not any one particular individual or any one particular party. But fundamentally, what you’re doing is for the benefit of the country,” he further added.
The company official said the approach is to build a strong and lasting partnership with the South American country. He said once this is done, “then we find that dealing with the normal things that come up, the normal challenges about different things, whether it’s contract awards, or people’s opinions, or the procurement processes, or development plan, approval pace, or all those things that we manage, are much easier to manage. So that’s generally how I would answer it.”
Guyanese are expected to go to the polls within months following a court ruling handed down on Tuesday which effectively paves the way for early elections.