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By Darshanand Khusial

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Aug. 8, 2022: Exxon recently reported quarterly record profits of US$17.9 billion. That is almost 12 times the budget used to run Guyana for a year. There is no doubt the Exxon executives are celebrating with bottles of wine that cost hundreds of US dollars. It is no secret that Exxon has bet its future on Guyana, and it is starting to reap the benefits.

The discovery of deepwater oil 200 km offshore the coast of Guyana was reported in 2015 and the first barrels of oil were produced in December 2019. Today, more than 360,000 barrels of oil per day are being produced in Guyana, generating revenues to Exxon’s consortium of over US$37 million per day at current oil prices. About 41% of Guyanese live on less than US$5.50 a day, which works out to a total of US$1.8 million per day for the 335,000 Guyanese living in poverty.

Our oil is generating revenues that are 20 times the amount of what 335,000 of our people live on a daily basis. It has been 7 years since oil was discovered but 41% of the people in Guyana are living largely on biscuits and water for breakfast and dinner while the oil companies’ executives and their shareholders toast each other from Guyana’s oil wealth.

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The natural resource curse or the paradox of plenty is when countries in Guyana’s situation – where they are blessed with an abundance of natural resources – develop poorly in comparison to countries not as fortunate. In Guyana’s case, 11 billion barrels of the light sweet crude that are the envy of the world appear to have been of little benefit so far to the majority of Guyanese now that we are in the fourth year of oil production.  

OGGN advocates to stop this exploitation of Guyana’s resources through contracts that don’t seem to benefit the majority of the Guyanese people. One means of OGGN achieving its goal is via education of the public on Guyana oil related issues. On August 13th, 2022, OGGN will be holding a Guyana Oil Symposium in New York City. There will be a panel of Guyanese subject matter experts presenting in language that the general public can understand. The topics will range from:

  • The need for full coverage liability for an oil spill – Dr Vincent Adams
  • Impacts of oil production on Guyana’s environment and coastal livelihoods – Dr Janette Bulkan
  • Money that will be available in the Natural Resource Fund – Dr Tarron Khemraj
  • The tax lawsuit against the oil companies – Chris Ram
  • Cost of living in an oil economy – Red Thread

The presenters would shed light on how Guyana can avoid the resource curse. The presenters are active members of civil society who have fought for a better Guyana over many years.

The event will be held at Sri Lakshmi Temple, 128-04 Liberty Ave, Queens, New York (Liberty Avenue & 128 Street in Richmond Hill, NY) on Saturday, August 13th between 2 and 5 p.m. EST. If you are planning to attend, please reserve your seat by sending an email to [email protected].

Find out more about OGGN HERE

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Darshanand Khusial is part of the non-profit Oil and Governance Network and a financial researcher with qualifications in management accounting and securities. He is also an IT expert who once served as the lead designer on the engine behind some of the largest retail sites in the world. He holds a Masters and Bachelors in Computer Engineering from University of Toronto. He has 15 patents granted in eCommerce software, augmented reality, retail, and dental fields.

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