Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 22nd 2017 Contents JUNE 22 • 2017 guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
VIEW | BG3
BG VIEW ANTHONY WILSON
Chief editor business
Editing and design
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Why has NGC failed to
disclose gas contracts?
Earlier this month, the Govern-
ment of Guyana reiterated that
a "legal consideration" was pre-
venting it from providing the
full disclosure of the contract
it signed with the US oil giant,
Minister of State Joseph Harmon, speaking at
the weekly Cabinet news conference, said that
the David Granger government will not at this
juncture make full disclosure on the contract.
Harmon said the Petroleum Act provides
for a "confidentiality clause" in contracts like
Exxon's "which says that during the course of
the negotiations that certain things have to be
kept in a confidential way."
That act, according to a CMC report, stipu-
lates that "no information...by a licensee shall
be disclosed to any person who is not a minister,
a public office or an employee of the Guyana
Geology and Mines Commission except with
the consent of the licensee."
Earlier, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo,
in defending the accord, said the agreement
"will be made available in due course."
Responding to a call by the Transparency
Institute Guyana Incorporated's (TIGI) for full
disclosure on the accord, Nagamootoo said that
Guyana's unresolved border row with neigh-
bouring Venezuela was one of the government's
reasons against full disclosure.
"We have a situation right now with Ven-
ezuela and we have entered into the last six
months of a very delicate process involving the
United Nations (UN). We have to, in this final
six months, decide if there is no resolution that
the matter should go to International Court of
Justice," Nagamootoo said.
So Guyana has taken a position, citing its
long-running territorial dispute with Vene-
zuela, not to disclose the salient details of its
engagement with ExxonMobil.
In the last month or so, the wholly state-
owned National Gas Company of T&T has
signed two natural gas supply contracts: one
with bpTT and the other with EOG Resources
The first contract, with bpTT, renews a 20-
year supply contract that was due to expire next
year, while the contract with EOG Resources
was for a continued supply of natural gas to
the domestic market from 2019.
In signing the EOG Resources contract, NGC
president Mark Loquan said that it "paves the
way for increased collaboration for both com-
panies to stimulate increased gas production
to the domestic market."
In signing the bpTT contract---which NGC
described as a "milestone" in a statement---
Loquan said that it represented a different
operational and commercial relationship for
the two entities.
"The days of long duration contracts and low
pricing when compared to past contracts are
over," he said, adding that these components
now depended on exploration and further
In neither case has NGC disclosed the spe-
cific details of the contract in terms of volume
of the natural gas that NGC has contracted to
purchase, the amount of money it has agreed
to pay bpTT and EOG Resources for the natural
gas or the length of the contracts.
All that Mr Loquan did disclose was that "the
days of long duration contracts and low pricing
when compared to past contracts are over."
One assumes that all of the significant details
of these agreements are well known within the
local natural gas community.
The question is: why have NGC, bpTT and
EOG Resources failed to disclose even the basic
elements of these contracts, which will have
a profound impact on the liquefaction facili-
ties at Point Fortin and the petrochemical and
process plants at Point Lisas?
I think that the public of T&T deserves to
know what NGC has agreed to with these
companies on behalf of the population of T&T,
specifically the country's taxpayers.
Is this veil of secrecy that has been pulled
over these very important contracts appropri-
ate in 2017, when T&T's natural gas industries
have suffered nearly five years of gas curtail-
Would it not be appropriate for everyone
if NGC were to provide the public with some
idea of how these contracts will impact the
Iwould just like to say that I am very proud of what
this publication has been able to achieve under my
stewardship over the years.
Since my return to the T&T Guardian in Novem-
ber 2002, I have contributed a commentary in this
space on every Thursday without fail and for the 14
months in which the Sunday BG was published, I wrote two
commentaries a week---a total of close to 800 BG View or Sun-
day View commentaries. This has been the highlight of my
time at the newspaper.
Given the feadback I have received over the years, I am sure
that the thoughts expressed in this column have added value to
the lives of hundreds of citizens across this nation, the region
and wherever in this world people from this country reside.
I would like to thank all of those who have contributed to
making the Business Guardian the success that it has become:
• First of all to Anthony N Sabga, whose vision drove the
inception of the publication and who decided that it should be
published on salmon newsprint. Dr Sabga was a very special
individual, whose contribution to the Business Guardian over
the years shall be greatly missed;
• The managing directors who supported my execution of the
Business Guardian vision over this period---Grenfell Kissoon,
Ingrid Isaac, Gabriel Faria, Lisa Agard and the current GML
boss, Lucio Mesquita;
• No specialised magazine can be successful without adver-
tisers, advertising agencies as well as the inhouse advertising
• All of the business journalists who have contributed to
the success of the publication over the years, including Verne
Burnett, Camille Moreno (both of whom are at the Newsday)
Nicole Duke-Westfield (RBC), Luis Araujo (bpTT), Sherwin
Long (TTEITI), Asha Javeed (Express), Sherry-Ann Singh, Judy
Kanhai (CNC3), Urvashi Tiwari-Roopnarine (CNC3), Kim-
berley Mackhan, Curtis Williams, Natalie Briggs as well as
the current business grouping of Raphael John Lall, Nadaleen
Singh and Andre Worrell;
• I want to pay a separate tribute to Sandra Chouthi, who
passed on to more wonderful things in April 2015. Sandra was
an excellent journalist and a great associate business editor;
• One of the publication’s undoubted strengths has been the
quality of its columnists and contributors, who I pay tribute
to unreservedly, but do not name because of the length of the
list and the possibility that I may leave someone out;
The Business Guardian requires someone to read all of the
stories and build the pages. Among those who have contributed
to copy reading and page design over the years are: Kendra-Ann
Louis, Kevan Gibbs, Chenier Belgrave and Roxanne Mannette.
• Almost from the start of the publication of the Business
Guardian, one woman has contributed consistently and at a
high level over the years. That's Natasha Saidwan, who has
almost singlehandedly been responsible for the design and
copy reading for some time.
• I thank all my colleagues at the Guardian who have con -
tributed in any way to the success of the Business Guardian.
I am confident that under the stewardship of Mr Mesquita
and Shelly Dass---the publication will be in capable hands.
Thank you very much...
BPTT regional president Norman Christie, left, speaks with Energy Minister Franklin Khan, BP's
upstream chief executive Bernard Looney; National Gas Company chairman Gerry Brooks, and
BP chief operating officer, strategy and regions, Andy Hopwood, following a press conference
hosted by bpTT at the Trinidad Hilton, St Ann's, earlier this month. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
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