Professor Clive Thomas, last Sunday, stressed the importance of Guyana’s relationship with ExxonMobil in the budding oil and gas industry.
He was at the time making an address among two other panellists at the Buxton First of August Movement’s annual emancipation symposium at the Friendship Primary School.
Professor Thomas said despite concerns about the contract signed between ExxonMobil and the government, Guyana is destined to reap more than half of the benefits. “We know that the contracts are not going to be complete now; but what we have to recognize is that based on the contract that we do have; every single professional estimate that I have seen and the ones that are existing, estimate that Guyana will get more than half of the net cash flow from the sales of the oil. More than half the profits.”
The professor added, “to get 50 percent of the take, while not sufficiently; everybody would like a hundred but we cannot get it and also have Exxon. Exxon is there to protect us from losing out to Venezuela.”
The Economist explained that while the wish is for Guyanese to develop the oil industry solely; the country does not have the skills or capital to do it alone. “We need Exxon more than Exxon needs us; we have a symbiotic relationship. If they were not here, we would not have the oil. The simple fact is that Venezuela is so desperate that if we do not recognise the strategic need to keep them as partners we would be putting our heads in the sand like an ostrich.”
Professor Thomas encouraged persons to not be easily discouraged by rumours. “If you have to keep the person there in order to get 50 percent of the take which should be more than US$10 billion per year then you have to take the risk.”
The forum attracted saw a number of Buxtonians and residents from neighbouring villages.
It was held under the theme: “The coming oil and gas economy: Prospects for empowering the poor and revitalizing the village economy.”