Exxon’s in­vest­ment de­ci­sion for Liza Phase-2 de­layed

Stabroek News Sunday - - GLOBAL GOSSIP -

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

Stan­ley Lan­caster

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.”

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