Without firing a single shot it seems that Guyana has been invaded by the oil companies. The recent comments by John Hess, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hess Corporation that Guyana’s Head of State was ‘emphatic that a stay would be put in place’following the High Court’s Order for Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) to provide an unlimited guarantee from its parent company is alarming cause for concern among Guyanese that the rule of law is being twisted to favor certain interests. The president of Hess Corporation further stated that ‘I think this is just a case of the judge not understanding what the petroleum legislation was or the petroleum requirements of our production programs were, and I think that matter has been put to bed. There was a lot of noise about it, but it was basically noise.’ Mr. Hess needs to disclose to the Guyanese people more about this ‘assurance’ that the President allegedly gave him.More importantly, President Ali and his chief honcho and self-anointed oil expert need to explain why the Hess boss told the U.S Energy Conference that the President assured him a stay of the full liability protection ruling by Justice Sandil Kissoon would be issued.
Following an article published by Kaieteur News in Friday edition titled ‘Hess Boss tells US conference Pres. Ail assured him of stay in Justice Kissoon’s ruling before Court of Appeal handed down decision’ the CEO of Hess Corporation issued a response. In his bid to clarify the issue, John Hess explained, “I called the President about concerns expressed by investors about the recent court ruling, and the President—based on the advice of his Attorney General—conveyed to me that the State’s case in favor of its application was strong, and based on the merits of the case, there was no reason why a stay could not be granted.”
In the stay of execution granted by Justice Rishi Persaud one can ask if this particular Judge, at the pinnacle of jurisprudence, has been compromised. Furthermore, is the legislative arm of the gov’t threading in murky waters when it seeks to influence the judicial arm? In his book ‘The West on Trial’ the founder of the PPP; the avowed Marxist Cheddi Jagan declared in the mid 50’s that the country could be labeled as Bookers Guiana. Fast forward 3 generations and it is quite appropriate to ask if the country could now be labeled EXXON Guyana.
Leyland Chitlall Roopnaraine