EPA appeals High Court ruling for unlimited guarantee for ExxonMobil’s subsidiary clean-up; Nandlall says money is priority

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 May 2023, 0:24 by Denis Chabrol

Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has appealed a High Court decision that orders that regulatory agency to instruct ExxonMobil’s Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) to take out an unlimited parent company guarantee and/or unlimited liability affiliate company guarantee to finance the cost of any chemical pollution.

“I’m informed that the EPA has already filed their appeal and other legal steps are being taken in relation to the judgement,” Attorney General Anil Nandlall said on ‘Issues in the News’.

According to the plaintiffs, President of Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc; Fred Collins and Guyanese Godfrey Whyte, their case is specifically about the Liza 1 deposit.

He gave no detailed grounds for the appeal but sought to push back critics who have been accusing the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC)-led administration of taking the side of the oil company and instead sacrificing Guyana’s environment. In that regards, he indicated that government’s national interest was earning money from the oil sector.  “We have a five-year national developmental plan that we have to finance from revenues generated. The main source of revenue stream now in Guyana is the oil and gas sector and, of course, we are building a diversified economy,” he said.

Mr Nandlall notes that so far it can account for US$700 million from he sector that was being paid to Guyanese under the local content regime, and US$1.4 billion up to last month in oil revenues and monies

He vehemently rejected the decision by High Court Judge Sandil Kissoon  that states that the insurance must be of an unlimited nature.

“There is no doubt that the document allows the licence holder to provide regime of security and it list for what reason and that there is a requirement of a permanent nature,” he added.