Exxon’s investment decision for Liza Phase-2 delayed
ExxonMobil has had to delay a Final Investment Decision (FID) on its Liza Phase-2 project as a result of the Guyana government’s move to carefully assess Field Development Plans (FDPs). Word of the delay on the FID for Liza Phase 2 came via online oil and gas magazine Upstream. When contacted for a comment yesterday on the development, Head of the Department of Energy Dr Mark Bynoe told Sunday Stabroek, “…we want to make decisions from a position of knowledge. As you would have known, we advertised for international expertise to help us review the FDP that was submitted for Liza 2. So that would have to go through a process review before we actually provide any approvals. Since the expertise is not evident here, we had to advertise for that. The fact that it is going through a process possibly has postponed the decision (FID), from the operator’s standpoint.” The planned evaluation of the Liza Phase-2 FDP would mark a sharp departure in the government’s handling of ExxonMobil’s plans. The Guyana Government approved Exxon’s FDP for the Liza-1 well relying only on a technical evaluation that had been done by international consulting firm WorleyParsons without an examination of the projected costs for the development.
Monday, November 26th President’s public engagements reduced
President David Granger, consistent with advice from his team of specialist doctors at the Centro de Investigaciones Medico Quirugicas (CIMEQ) in Havana, Cuba, continues to take precautionary measures in light of his recent diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a statement from the Ministry of the Presidency said tonight. As such, due to his continued treatment, the Head of State’s public engagements have been reduced. Notwithstanding, President Granger continues to perform his duties, the statement added. President Granger and his wife, Mrs. Sandra Granger returned to Guyana from Cuba on November 20, 2018 after spending approximately three weeks there. Given the diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, the President’s medical team performed a number of medical interventions including the first round of chemotherapy. The President has responded well to the treatment and was given approval to return to Guyana. President Granger once again expressed profound gratitude to all those who sent their well-wishes for his full and complete recovery, the statement said.
Republic Bank profit up 14.4%
Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited registered an after tax profit of $3.134b for 2018, up by 14.4% compared to $2.73b last year. The Trinidad and Tobago-headquartered bank’s Managing Director, Richard Sammy in his discussion in the bank’s annual report noted that the rise in profitability was attributable to normal banking operations and an extraordinary gain from the sale of a fixed asset. Net interest and other income rose by $905.1m or 9.38% to $10.55b this year compared to the $9.65b last year. This, he said, was attributable to the increase in the loan portfolio and the sale of a fixed asset. Other income, he said, totaled $3.15b or 28.34% of total income. This was above the 2017 figure by $630.7m or 25%. He said that foreign exchange trading increased and this led to exchange gains of $1.399b for 2018 and represented a hike of $204.8m or 17.15% over last year. He added that exchange earnings continue to be the major source of other income. Interest expense dropped from $575m in 2017 to $570m this year.
Probe into harassment claims recommends removal of GFF head of referees, assessor
A ground-breaking probe into claims of sexual harassment made by female football referees has recommended the removal of the Guyana Football Federation’s (GFF) Head of Referees, Stanley Lancaster and Referee Assessor Roy MacArthur from their respective posts, well-placed sources say. According to a source close to the inquiry, “The primary recommendation is the removal of GFF Head of Referees Department Stanley Lancaster and Referee Assessor Roy MacArthur. Many of the testimonies and stories received by the committee did not sound scripted or rehearsed, they felt genuine. The recommendations for their removal is based on the belief and credibility that incidents occurred.
Although there was no physical evidence, many of the individuals that testified had different experiences and stories.” The inquiry, which commenced in March 2018, was commissioned following allegations of sexual harassment by several female referees against senior members of the Referees fraternity. On February 2nd 2018, 17 male and female referees signed a three-page letter, calling for the removal of Lancaster, citing unprofessionalism and incompetence amongst other issues. The source further disclosed that more than 16 individuals gave testimony before the probe panel, with the majority being females originating from the Georgetown district. Following the conclusion of the COI, the report was submitted to the GFF on November 19th by Chairman of the committee, Dr. Karen Pilgrim. This was stated in an official release from the GFF on November 23rd. According to the release, the executive committee of the GFF is scheduled to review the report at their next meeting on December 1st 2018 and take action.
Tuesday, November 27th Jordan presents $300.7b budget
Minister of Finance Winston Jordan yesterday presented a $300.7 billion budget for 2019 and projected GDP growth at 4.6% in the year before first oil. Presented under the theme “Transforming the Economy, Empowering People, Building Sustainable Communities for the Good Life”, the Budget which is the fifth to be presented by the APNU+AFC government, is a 12.6 % increase over last year’s $267.1 billion budget. It projects a real economic growth of 4.6% in 2019 amid steady growth in the global economy and stable commodity prices. According to Jordan this expansion will be broadbased as all major sectors are projected to expand. Meanwhile the real growth for 2018 has been revised yet again to 3.4%. Total revenue in 2018 is anticipated to reach $216.9 billion, $15.0 billion above the budgeted $201.9 billion and $21.8 billion or 11.2 % higher than collections in 2017 however the budgeted deficit of $10.1 billion has worsened to a latest forecast of $15.8 billion, for 2018 a deterioration from the deficit of $13.0 billion recorded for 2017.
Jagdeo says can’t support budget
Describing the 2019 National Budget as a disappointment, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said last night that it is laced with unnecessary spending and increased taxes, which will cause additional hardship on the populace. “We cannot support this budget. Not in its current formulation. We spoke to them, we put out an ad to the effect of some of the things we would like to see. They paid no heed to any of the concerns of the opposition or the people,” he told reporters at a press conference at parliament shortly after Finance Minister Winston Jordan ended an almost five-hour-long budget presentation. Jagdeo who sat through the entire presentation repeatedly stressed to the media that there is nothing in the $300.7B budget that speaks to job creation or provides comfort to businesspersons. In giving his initial reaction to the budget he said “I’m very very disappointed. I had great expectations that this government would have listened to what they have heard from people in the local government elections, the widespread dissatisfaction with their policies across Guyana as expressed in the votes at the elections and I thought that now that this government is facing a no confidence motion, that it would have heeded the concerns not just of the public but the political opposition…and change its approach to budgeting.”