I note with disappointment comments by a certain Joel Bhagwandin, in which he attempts to argue that the Opposition’s plan to phase out future developments is ill-advised. The problem is that the Opposition has no plan to phase out future developments and has never said anything to that effect. Compounding his confusion, Mr. Bhagwandin presents two scenarios from his imagination: oil production climbs to 1,000,000 barrels daily, and oil production is frozen at 350,000 barrels daily. He proceeds to demonstrate that under the scenario of only producing 350,000 barrels of oil daily, Guyana would have less revenue than if 1,000,000 barrels of oil per day were produced. It doesn’t take a genius to tell you that.
What is amusing is that Mr. Bhagwandin seems to have put so much effort into an analysis that has nothing to do with the opposition’s advocacy. It is possible that he did not read the Opposition’s remarks on this issue or did not understand them in his rush to respond. We never said that all future oil developments should be “phased out,” but rather that through intelligently spacing them out, we can increase the share of profit oil the country receives. This is because as each existing development is gradually paid off from cost oil, the percentage of profit oil rises. When other developments come on stream, at a slower rate than the current mad rush, we will be able to maintain a higher rate of profit oil because costs are incurred at a slower rate. I am disappointed to see Mr. Bhagwandin respond to something he perceives rather than what I said. It cuts the conversation short, denying the Guyanese people the opportunity to engage in intelligent dialogue. I would advise him to read more slowly on the next occasion. It may serve him well.
Economic and Youth Policy Advisor to the Leader of the Opposition