Dear Editor,The response by the Department of Energy to grave concerns expressed about the invitation to select petroleum companies to Guyana for face-to-face meetings is disingenuous.There is no need to sell Guyana’s share of profit oil directly. The share should be sold by the operator and should fetch the same price as the operator’s share. The price garnered for ExxonMobil’s share will be declared publicly to its shareholders and is a transparent, trusted and audited process. ExxonMobil cannot and will not lie to its owners (shareholders) and is closely monitored by capable institutions such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The same cannot be said for the process outlined by David Granger’s Department of Energy (DE).The DE is being facetious when it suggested that “The short-term first phase beginning this week will focus on setting national benchmarks for selling Guyana’s portion of its crude in the future”. One, the benchmark will be set by the sale of the oil lifted before our turn comes and two, each batch of oil is quality tested and sold according to those results.The DE confirmed that “Selected companies are invited to bid to buy Guyana’s product in the very short term”. The obvious question is why? Oil is sold on the world market daily, there is no advantage to pre-selling oil of unknown (but expected to be very high) quality. Should we, for example, accept a price US$2 higher than Brent Crude per barrel, it would seem a good deal unless the quality is higher and the world market price would be Brent plus US$8. In such a scenario, Guyana would have lost US$18 million due to undue haste. Given the present ravaged state of the Treasury, it is a risk we can ill-afford to take.Then there is the issue of “selected companies”, the DE stated that “This strategy was employed upon serious consideration of advice given by an international team external to the DE”. The DE gave us titles of persons but significantly fails to name anyone. The DE gave us a lengthy three-point explanation of the ‘logic’ employed in reaching the decision to adopt a self-described “novel approach” – an examination of the three points is revealing.In point one, the DE said the quality of the crude is not yet known. This is patently false; ExxonMobil has signalled that the crude is expected to be higher than the benchmark Brent. However, each shipment of oil is graded onboard the FPSO rigorously, oil companies do not buy or sell ‘pig in bag’. Any sale before testing is going to be below real value as companies will claim ‘risk’. Absolute hogwash!Point two states “The DE has been advised, by the Crude Marketing Specialist, that in order to take Guyana through this limited short-term phase, a few high-quality IOCs with a global refining footprint and integrated oil value chains would be best given an opportunity to support the DE during this incubation and launching phase”. Guyana needs to get the best possible price for its share of profit oil, what it seems to have gotten is high-priced ‘con-sultants’. Keep it simple stupid should be a mantra over at the DE; it seems they are easily confused or misled. Is Kevin Granger an advisor on the ‘international team’? is it a team or a gathering of cronies?Point three of the DE’s response states “Guyana’s main incentive in taking this approach is to establish a norm in terms of quality standard and quantity availability so as to prevent any possible down-pricing”. Again, if or quality is low, it will be tested before lifting and priced according to world prices, same if it is high, every shipment will be tested and priced this way, in a very open and transparent process. That is unless we deviate from the norm during the ‘face-to-face’ meetings.The DE asserted that there is no untoward motive hidden in the request for face-to-face meetings and then, only with ‘selected’ companies, but I would suggest that when men with guns and masks are in our house, Guyanese do not have to wait to be robbed to know that they are bandits. We also know ‘salla-walla’ when we see it.Respectfully,Robin Singh
But they still had too much quality for the Championship strugglers as two great strikes from Willian added to goals from Pedro Rodriguez and Olivier Giroud’s first for Chelsea put the hosts 4-0 up by half-time.Conte made seven changes in all from the side that beat West Brom 3-0 on Monday to ease the mounting pressure on his job after damaging defeats by Bournemouth and Watford.Once again the Chelsea support showed their backing for the former Juventus boss, but more challenging tests lie ahead in their bid for Champions League glory, and a place back in the competition next year via the top four of the Premier League should they fall short.Barca’s visit to the Bridge on Tuesday is followed by consecutive trips to Manchester United and Manchester City on league duty before the return leg at the Camp Nou on March 14.“We lost two games at the end of a busy period. Now we have the right confidence again,” said Conte.“But in the next two weeks we have to play massive games and we must be strong – Barcelona, United and City. We are ready.”Willian did no harm to his case to start against the Catalans with a stunning all-round display capped by his two goals.“For sure, his performance was impressive,” added Conte.“I hope to see always this type of performance because, when Willy plays in this way, it is a great joy for me, the team, the club and our fans.”The Brazilian opened the scoring after just two minutes as he jinked inside onto his weaker left foot but still produced a fine curling shot into the far corner.– Relieved Giroud –A former Barca duo combined for the second as Cesc Fabregas’s lofted pass freed Pedro in behind the Hull defence to slot past David Marshall.Willian showed he is capable of scoring from range off either foot as his low drive cushioned the post on its way past Marhsall moments later for his 10th goal of the season.Giroud then cut a relieved figure when he tucked home debutant Emerson Palmieri’s low cross to round off a first 45 minutes to forget for the visitors.“I was waiting for it,” said Giroud. “It was important for me to score my first goal. It’s relieved me a little bit.”Hull had the chance to salvage some pride early in the second-half when Fabregas tripped Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson inside the area.But a dire night for Nigel Adkins’ men was complete when Willy Caballero saved David Meyler’s penalty.And Willian was inches away from the hat-trick his display deserved when another long-range effort came back off the post two minutes from time.Leicester joined Chelsea in the last eight as Riyad Mahrez provided the spark for the Foxes on his return to the starting line-up.The Algerian’s only appearance in Leicester’s previous three outings came as a late substitute in a 5-1 drubbing at Manchester City last weekend following his self-imposed exile from training after Leicester rejected City’s advances for the winger last month.However, he showed why the runaway Premier League leaders were interested with the teasing cross for Jamie Vardy to head home the only goal in a 1-0 win over Sheffield United.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Two of the best: Willian celebrates scoring his second goal as Chelsea beat Hull 4-0 in the FA Cup © AFP / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 17 – Antonio Conte believes Chelsea are ready for a season-defining few weeks after Willian starred with two goals to blow away Hull City 4-0 to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals on Friday.Just four days before facing Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie, Conte named a much-changed side with Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard not even included in the Italian’s squad.