“Transparency is critical” to Exxon operations – Kimberly Brasington, Public and Government Affairs Director, Exxon
DPI, GUYANA, Monday, October 16, 2017
ExxonMobil believes that the Extractive Transparency Initiative (EITI) would alleviate the suspicions that currently exist among Guyanese about its operations.
In a recent interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Exxon’s Public and Government Affairs Director, Kimberly Brasington, noted that transparency is “critical” as the company builds a base here in Guyana.
Exxon, in partnership with Hess Corp and CNOOC Nexen, is currently developing the Liza field in the Stabroek Block located approximately 190km in waters offshore Guyana. Since its first oil find in 2015, Exxon has made four other discoveries.
First phase development at Liza is well underway for production of first oil in 2020, however, there is much speculation and criticism of Exxon’s operations, in the public sphere.
Brasington said the company welcomes “hard questions” since it leads to dialogue. Although she is sympathetic to the calls for transparency by the public, Brasington noted the company does not “disclose our commercial competitive contracts”.
This is where the EITI provides answers to citizens, Brasington reasoned.
Exxon is a founder of the EITI process which requires all extractive industries: oil, mining, and forestry, to disclose monies it pays to the government. Likewise, the government discloses monies received and an independent third party evaluates and validates the information and publishes it.
“So, it (EITI) is a mechanism to account for and hold accountable both parties to the money. I think that is hugely important and we are committed to doing that. I do believe that we need to find the right balance in providing transparency that allows people comfort and not putting ExxonMobil at a competitive disadvantage,” Brasington said.
In August, Guyana submitted its application for candidacy into EITI. “The EITI process is the underlying or undergirding principle in resources of a state which belongs to the people, and therefore the incomes earned must be accounted for and spent in accordance with both the people’s wishes,” Minister Trotman noted in August.
It is expected that the request will be accepted at the EITI Conference scheduled for October.
Meanwhile, Brasington said Exxon will not shy away from providing information to the public to dispel misconceptions about the industry.
Proving that Exxon is a partner that Guyana wants is a marathon, Brasington cautioned. “The nature of the industry is a long-term industry and we’re going to be here for a decade. Transparency is critical and ExxonMobil supports transparency,” Brasington noted.
By: Tiffny Rhodius