by A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet


by A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet
A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet
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''A Fair Deal for Guyana - Fair Deal for the Planet' is a campaign by concerned citizens from Guyana and around the world.
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''A Fair Deal for Guyana - Fair Deal for the Planet' is a campaign by concerned citizens from Guyana and around the world.
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Latest: Jan. 23, 2024

Courageous Guyanese citizens: A globally unprecedented victory & other updates

A very Happy New Year to all our supporters. We hope that this year brings success and victory for all just causes!

It has been a long time since our last update. A lot has happened.

We currently have …

Read more

The seas surrounding Guyana are under threat by big oil companies.  We believe that the Government of Guyana is putting the natural world and our common home in danger.  Our legal cases will help protect the ocean, biodiversity and the global climate system for the benefit  of each one of us. The legal cases will challenge government and oil companies to get A Fair Deal for Guyana and A Fair Deal for the Planet. (www.fairdealforguyana.org)

The Stabroek oil concession

Who we are 

'A Fair Deal for Guyana - Fair Deal for the Planet' is a campaign by concerned citizens from Guyana and around the world.

The case

The Government has granted a petroleum production licence to three oil companies. Only one company has been issued with a permit by the Environmental Protection Agency. We believe this puts Guyana at risk.

We argue that the minister has acted unlawfully and irrationally in granting the licence and that his decision should be quashed by the court.

Attorney-at-Law Melinda Janki says: “There are clear grounds for saying that the minister has acted illegally. This case is the first step to protect Guyana from a potentially damaging oil deal."

Why we are doing this

Major oil reserves have been discovered off the coast of Guyana.  The government and the oil companies have talked about 'unimaginable wealth' for the country. However, there is widespread fear that this is a bad deal for Guyana and a disaster for our planet. In oil producing countries like Nigeria, Angola, Chad and Guyana's close neighbour, Venezuela, oil has led to rampant corruption, lost lives, environmental disasters, and excessive dependency on one economic sector. The oil companies and a small elite have become very rich.  Ordinary citizens are worse off. 

There are already early warning signs.  Oil companies paid Guyana’s government ministers a signing bonus of US$18 million which was placed illegally in a secret account.  The oil deal itself is scandalously low – the oil companies will pay no tax and the royalty is set at a derisory 2%.  Guyana will get a share of the profits but it will have no control over how those profits are calculated.  ExxonMobil’s local subsidiary recently presented Guyana with a bill for over US$460 million for costs going back as far as 1999. The international business press reports that Guyana's oil fields could be among the most profitable of the decade – it is easy to see why.

Meanwhile, no one seems to be paying attention to the impact of oil production on global climate change –  the biggest threat to life on earth. So far, ExxonMobil has estimated over 3.2 billion barrels of oil in their concession.  Once used, this will release over a billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.  Guyana will go from being a carbon sink, that prides itself on having vast areas of virgin rainforests, to a carbon emitter.

Guyana's Amazon Rainforest and Kaieteur Falls

There has also been insufficient attention to the environmental impact of the oil production itself. Deep water oil extraction is fraught with danger. Guyana’s marine area is rich in biodiversity including endangered blue whales, fin whales and North Atlantic right whales. Leatherback turtles, green turtles, hawksbill and Olive Ridley marine turtles all travel through these waters to reach Guyana's beaches where they lay their eggs. Guyana’s coastal mangrove forests are natural flood barriers and highly effective carbon sinks. Guyana’s fishermen also depend on the rich fishing grounds for their livelihoods.

Sperm whale and baby

A well blowout could devastate all of this. The BP Deepwater Horizon blowout in 2010 killed 11 people, destroyed marine life and dumped over 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.  Rex Tillerson, former President of ExxonMobil, has admitted that ‘when these things happen we are not well equipped to deal with them’.   An oil spill would hurt not only Guyana but also other nations.  A major spill would seriously damage, for example, the Caribbean eco-tourism sector which is worth US$16 billion annually and creates 650,000 jobs. Exxon was itself responsible for one of the biggest oil spills in history – the Exxon Valdez in which 11million gallons of crude oil devastated the pristine Alaskan coast in 1989.  

Marine turtles covered in oil

Even without any accidents, the planned oil production will produce thousands of tonnes of gas, liquid and solid emissions including pouring 4,000 barrels of sewage every day into the sea and nearly 13,000 tonnes of solid waste to be deposited in land fill sites in Guyana.

Guyana’s rich ocean, its spectacular rivers and its unique Amazonian rainforests are a paradise for nature-minded tourists and essential for the future of the planet.  Why jeopardise all of this?

What we are trying to achieve

We want the government and the oil companies to obey the law.

We want to enable concerned citizens to protect the environment for present and future generations.

How much we are raising and why

Our lawyers have generously acted pro bono so far in order to file the first case. But it is a huge undertaking to challenge the government of Guyana and the powerful oil sector. We know it will require significant legal time and costs. Nevertheless we believe that we must do everything legally possible to protect our common home and to ensure that the government and the oil companies obey the law.  We owe this to our children and grandchildren.

Guyana has a strong legal regime for protecting the environment. We intend to use these laws to safeguard biodiversity and protect the environment for present and future generations.

 Our appeal concerns not only Guyana and Guyanese people, but also anyone who cares about nature and wants to protect our magnificent planet for future generations.  

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

Our initial target of £4,000 (approx.US$5,700 or €4,500) will enable us to cover some of our initial costs.

Our stretch target of £50,000 (approx.US$ 71,000 or €57,000) will enable us to keep challenging breaches of the law and advocating for environmental protection.

Brief Biographies

Seenauth Jairam, is a highly experienced barrister who has been a Senior Counsel for nearly 20 years. He has represented clients across the Caribbean islands and Guyana and appeared before the Privy Council and the Caribbean Court of Justice.  He has served as a temporary judge and was a member of the Law Reform Commission of Trinidad and Tobago for 12 years. He is experienced in public law matters like this case and he has generously given his time pro bono  so far.

Melinda Janki was admitted to practice as a solicitor in England in 1988 and as an attorney-at-law in Guyana in 1994. She started her career in Lovells (now Hogan Lovells) and worked in the City of London before moving back to Guyana where she has worked tirelessly to protect the environment and the rights of Guyana’s Amerindian peoples. She has changed the law in Guyana including drafting Article 36 of the Guyana Constitution which protects the environment, drafting Guyana's Protected Areas Act and drafting the Amerindian Act 2006 which guarantees Amerindian land rights and internal self-government. She too has given her time pro bono so far on this case.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  www.fairdealforguyana.org






Renegotiate Contract.  Stabroek News 12 Feb 2018 

Signing Bonus Illegal Kaieteur News 13 Feb 2018

New York City Sues ExxonMobil.  'Pay Up for Climate Change Costs'    CNN Finance 10 January 2018

Oil Spills in Trinidad. Lessons for Guyana.

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Update 26

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

Jan. 23, 2024

Courageous Guyanese citizens: A globally unprecedented victory & other updates

A very Happy New Year to all our supporters. We hope that this year brings success and victory for all just causes!

It has been a long time since our last update. A lot has happened.

We currently have six cases in court with courageous Guyanese citizens challenging illegalities in the dangerous deep-sea drilling off the coast of Guyana.

1.Exposing Big Oil’s “disingenuous attempt to dilute its liabilities”

We had a globally unprecedented victory on 3rd May last year. His Honour Justice Sandhil Kissoon ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to require Exxon MobilGuyana to provide an unlimited parent company guarantee from ExxonMobil Corporation to cover all costs of an oil spill, well blowout or other catastrophic failure. He also ordered the EPA to require ExxonMobil Guyana to provide insurance.

The judge said that “The EPA has relegated itself to a state of laxity of enforcement and condonation compounded by a lack of vigilance thereby putting this nation and its people in grave potential danger of calamitous disaster.”

He also stated that ExxonMobil Guyana was “engaged in a disingenuous attempt which was calculated to deceive when it sought to dilute its liabilities and settled obligations stipulated and expressed in clear unambiguous terms at Condition 14 of the Environmental Permit (Renewed) while simultaneously optimizing production at the Liza Phase 1 Petroleum Production Project in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana.”

Both the EPA and ExxonMobil Guyana have appealed against this judgement. A Court of Appeal judge, Rishi Persaud JA, granted a stay (a temporary stop to judicial proceedings) of the order for the unlimited parent company guarantee and insurance but required ExxonMobil Guyana to lodge a guarantee for US$2billion. Both ExxonMobil Guyana and the EPA have refused to provide our lawyers with a copy of the guarantee which ExxonMobil Guyana says it has lodged with the EPA. Our lawyers have asked Persaud JA to order them to provide a copy and the matter is currently in court.

The Attorney-General of Guyana applied to join this case on the side of ExxonMobil Guyana. Our lawyers opposed his application and the court ruled in our favour.

2. Securing the longevity of our efforts 

You may remember that we won an important case in 2020 when the judge reduced ExxonMobil Guyana's environmental permits from 20 years to 5 years. We await a decision in a case challenging the renewal of the Liza 1 Permit. The permit for the Liza 2 Development Project expires this April and our lawyers have written to Guyana's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting ExxonMobil Guyana's application for a new permit and other information.

3. Continued support for public benefactors

In a challenge to the gas pipeline, the judge agreed with our lawyers that the EPA had acted contrary to law. The Attorney-General had claimed that we were 'obstructionist.' The judge dismissed his claim and stated that, "The Applicants in seeking to vindicate the rule of law ought to be viewed as public benefactors and not meddlesome busybodies who have instituted these proceedings as obstructionist to the pipeline."

4. Six letters later

In the flaring case, our lawyers wrote six letters to the Chief Justice requesting a decision. In their sixth letter they said, "We remind the Hon. Chief Justice that a number of remedies sought required nothing more than an order directed to the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce certain provisions of the Environmental Permit as well as orders relating to stopping flaring and interpreting the statute. With regret, our clients are, in the circumstances, of the view that the Hon. Chief Justice does not agree with their application, and if that is so, we request that she kindly dismisses the case formally so that the matter may proceed to the next level."  After more than 17 months the Chief Justice ruled against us, and our lawyers have filed an appeal.

5. ExxonMobil denies climate change

In the case of Thomas and de Freitas, the biggest climate change case in the world, ExxonMobil Guyana has denied that “The earth’s atmosphere and oceans have been and continue to be polluted by the release and accumulation of greenhouse gases resulting in two distinct but related phenomena that make Guyana’s environment more harmful to the health and wellbeing of citizens and future generations, viz. climate change and ocean acidification.” They also deny that “As a result of the pollution by greenhouse gases, the earth’s ambient temperature has already risen by about 1 degree Centigrade above pre-industrial levels and will continue to rise unless there are significant reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions.” They have applied to strike out the case. In his reply Dr Thomas has said: “It is surprising that Esso would try to deny such well-established facts. This is on par with saying that it is a matter of scientific opinion, not fact, whether the earth is round and that I must carry out a disproportionately expensive exercise to prove to the Court that we are not living on a flat earth." The case is making its way through the court.


6. The power of your support

And finally, the Gaskin case - which was first filed with your support in 2018 - has now reached the Caribbean Court of Justice. This case challenges the grant of the petroleum production licence. The CCJ will hear the case on 27th February and 28th February. 


We are very grateful for your support which has made these cases and victories possible. We are also immensely appreciative of the tremendous work of our brilliant lawyers.

Please share the news of these important cases.

And if you are able to make a further contribution to the costs of the cases, that would be great too.

In solidarity,

A Fair Deal for Guyana

Update 25

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

Feb. 17, 2023

Commonwealth Lawyers Association award for Melinda Janki

Our lawyer, Melinda Janki, has been awarded the 6th Commonwealth Law Conference Rule of Law Award in recognition of her courageous work in Guyana.

You can read more on the Commonwealth Lawyers Assocation web site (Link below.)


Update 24

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

May 22, 2021

Constitutional Climate Change Case filed against the oil in Guyana.

The Gaskin case continues in the court of appeal.  Following the important victory last October reducing the permits to five years, our lawyers have now filed a climate change case  claiming that the massive off shore oil project is unconstitutional.

You can read more about the case here:

Guyana Constitutional Case Against Oil and Gas

Please share this news widely.

The fight continues to protect Guyana's beautiful natural heritage and the planet for current and future generations - and we are winning!

Thank you to everyone for your tremendous support.


Update 23

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

Oct. 29, 2020

First victory against Exxon!

As the Gaskin case continues in the court of appeal, our lawyers have secured an important victory in a second case against Exxon cutting their environmental permits down to five years.  


Thanks to everyone for your continuing support!

Update 22

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

Aug. 11, 2020

UN raises concerns about Guyana's oil development

The United Nations Human Rights Committee is requesting that the newly appointed government of Guyana respond to questions about how the nation’s recent expansion into offshore oil production will impact human rights.

The Committee specifically instructed the country to: “Provide information on the steps taken to prevent and mitigate the negative effects of climate change and environmental degradation, particularly as a result of gold mining and offshore oil production.”

You can read more about the UN report here:


Update 21

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

June 25, 2020

Oil, good governance and the rule of law

The corona pandemic has had a serious impact on court proceedings. We are waiting for the Court of Appeal to proceed with our matter and will update you as soon as there is any progress.

In the meantime, the oil curse appear to be affecting Guyana. If you have been following the elections in Guyana, you will have seen that the promise of oil wealth is already affecting democracy, good governance and the rule of law. Elections were held on 2nd March and there have been fraudulent attempts to declare the incumbent administration as the winner. The elections results and a total recount all show that the opposition have won the elections. A third elections case is now before the court.

You can hear our lawyer, Melinda Janki, talking about oil, good governance and the rule of law on a Canning House panel with the British High Commissioner on Friday. You can find more details and sign up to join the online seminar at the link below:


Thank you for your continuing support.

Update 20

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

March 10, 2020

Global Civil Society Groups Urge Support for Guyana

As Guyana's election fiasco continues, global organizations stand in solidarity with the Guyanese people for democracy and human rights, warning of the dangers of the oil curse and the false promise of wealth.


Please circulate to your friends and contacts.

Thank you for all your support. 

Update 19

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

Feb. 15, 2020

Guyanese Court Fails to Hold Oil Companies to Environmental Commitments - CIEL

Guyanese Court Fails to Hold Oil Companies to their Environmental Commitments


February 13, 2020

Yesterday, a Guyanese court issued a ruling in a judicial review action brought against the government and three companies — Esso (Exxon), Hess, and CNOOC Nexen — for failing to comply with the Environmental Protection Act. 

“Ironically, this ruling comes just as a new study shows the Deepwater Horizon disaster ten years ago had much farther-reaching (and still ongoing) environmental impacts than previously believed. And yet, the court has ruled that it’s ok for companies to skate by while giving nothing more than a head nod to their environmental obligations. Beyond the pollution from the drilling itself, there is no telling how catastrophic an oil spill would be not only for Guyana, but for all of the Caribbean — not to mention the impacts from climate change that would be exacerbated by extracting and burning more fossil fuels.” says Erika Lennon, Senior Attorney at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL). 

The court ruled against the plaintiff, Ramon Gaskin, who brought the case as part of the campaign A Fair Deal for the Planet – A Fair Deal for Guyana, who challenged the companies’ offshore oil operations because two of the companies failed to obtain the necessary environmental permits. The lawsuit claimed that the government’s deal with the companies was illegal because it granted a petroleum production license before the permits were obtained. However, yesterday’s ruling found that the one environmental permit issued to Esso covered the “project” and that each individual company was bound to it. Mr. Gaskin intends to appeal the decision, saying, “I see no evidence in the Environmental Protection Act that a project can be an applicant for an environmental permit.”

Rich in biodiversity, Guyana is a carbon sink. However, the recent offshore oil discoveries have led Exxon and other oil companies to move into Guyana and seek leases to begin offshore drilling that would turn Guyana from a carbon sink into a carbon emitter. This shift comes at a time of growing recognition of the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to have any chance of holding global temperature rise below 1.5C.  

“The entire oil industry is in financial distress, especially ExxonMobil,” says Steven Feit, Staff Attorney at CIEL. “Guyana is betting its future on a company and an industry that is failing to show strong financial returns and accumulating debt, all while driving the climate crisis. But the relationship is actually the reverse: Exxon is relying on Guyana to save its bottom line. Guyana should not lock itself into a faustian bargain with an industry in decline, where the best-case scenario comes with climate catastrophe.” 



Update 18

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

Feb. 1, 2020

Judgement Date!

Dear Friends and Supporters,

The court has set Wednesday 12th February 2020 for a decision! We are pleased to have a date at last – 1 year and a day after the final hearing on 11th February 2019 and after repeated requests by our lawyers.

Our lawyers have asked the court to ‘quash’ (cancel) the petroleum production licence granted to Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd., Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd., and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Ltd. If the court does grant our request, oil production will have to stop until such time as a new licence can be validly granted.

Our case is that Hess and Nexen are not entitled to a petroleum production licence because they have not done an environmental impact assessment and have not obtained an environmental permit. Our lawyers have also asked the court for orders prohibiting Hess and Nexen from carrying out any petroleum operations.

We will inform you of the judge’s decision as soon as we know what it is.

Please check our twitter account for updates. 

Thank you again for your support and interest. You are Fair Deal.  This case would not have been possible without you.

Update 17

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

Sept. 19, 2019

Fair Deal Public Event in Georgetown - TONIGHT!

Update 16

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

Aug. 5, 2019

Guyana's "grossly unfair" oil deal!

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Our lawyers continue to seek a date for a decision in our case.  

The judge in our case has been hearing urgent constitutional cases. She has ruled against the government and her decisions have been upheld by the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Criticism of the proposed oil production in Guyana is growing locally and internationally. 

Do watch this video of one of our lawyers. She highlights the unfairness of Guyana's oil deal with ExxonMobil's subsidiary and partners as well as the risks to Guyana, the Caribbean and the planet.


Please share the video with your friends, family and colleagues. 

The Fair Deal Campaign

Update 15

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

May 20, 2019

"First oil or Fool's Gold?"

As we wait for the decision in our matter, we hope you enjoy this recent article by our lawyer,  Melinda Janki, on the global economics of oil and what it means for the proposed oil production in Guyana: 

 "First oil or Fool's Gold?" 

Please post your comment on the Stabroek News website and add to the debate on-line.


Update 14

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

March 29, 2019

Case delay

The hearing date has been postponed.

We will let you know as soon as the court sets a new date.

Fair Deal Campaign

Update 13

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

March 19, 2019

Oil challenge - next steps

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Thank you for all your help so far.

We feel we are making good progress having won in the Court of Appeal and also because the Chief Justice has ordered that the oil companies cannot recover costs against us.  We expect to receive a decision soon.

We now need to cover the expenses for the next court hearing. 

Please will you help us to raise £2,000?

This case is important for the Earth....not just Guyana.

Please do send this message to friends and colleagues.


Update 12

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

March 11, 2019


Update from our litigant Ramon Gaskin:

 "Dear Friends and Supporters,

I attended the court hearing on 11th February before the acting Chief Justice in open court.

Mr Jairam SC presented our challenge to the petroleum production licence (PPL).  Mr Jairam SC also pointed out that a company must have adequate finance in order to obtain an environmental permit. The lawyers representing the Minister and the oil companies argued that the permit is for a ‘project’ and therefore Hess and Nexen do not need to get an environmental permit. Ms Janki replied to their submissions arguing that the permit is granted to a named person to carry out a project and therefore Hess and Nexen cannot get a PPL unless they have an environmental permit.

The Chief Justice (ag) has set the next hearing for 29th March. We hope to have a decision at that point.

Thank you again for your support and interest.

Ramon Gaskin"

Update 11

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

Feb. 8, 2019

Important case hearing on Monday - we need your help!

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Much has happened in the last few months!

In October, the Acting Chief Justice ordered the three oil companies to be joined to the action. The good news is that they may not recover any costs against the litigant Mr Gaskin.  Our lawyers have since put in the affidavits in reply to the oil companies, and of course the Minister.  Our lawyers have also put in written submissions and replied to the written submissions made by the Minister and the oil companies.

Our senior counsel will come from Trinidad for the next hearing. This is fixed for Monday 11th February. We will update you on the results of that hearing.

The Minister of Finance has projected that production from Guyana could reach one million barrels of oil per day.  As the world goes through dangerous climate change, we consider there is all the more reason to challenge this petroleum production license.

Our lawyers continue to dedicate hours of their time to this case entirely for free.  However we need to find additional funds to cover the expenses.  

Please provide whatever help you can.  And ask your friends to support us too.

We need your support to help us to win a case that is critical for the planet as well as for Guyana. 

Thank you.


Update 10

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

Aug. 25, 2018

What will oil do for Guyana?

One of our legal counsel, Melinda Janki, explains some of the unfair terms of the oil deal.  This video has been viewed more than 130,000 times on social media.      

What will oil do for Guyana?

Please send to your friends and colleagues. Encourage them to support the campaign.

Thank you.

Update 9

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

July 4, 2018


The Court of Appeal has set aside the order by Justice Holder that there were no grounds for our case against the minister granting a license to all three oil companies when only one company had an environmental permit. 

The Court of Appeal has ordered a rehearing in the High Court in which the minister will be required to put in a defence!  This is an important result and is exactly what our lawyers requested. 

The judges also agreed that the case is urgent. 

We know this is a long fight and it is very significant that our lawyers have been able to convince the judges of both the urgency and the importance of this case. 

Thank you again for your support and please do share the good news with friends, family, colleagues etc. 

We are also asking everyone to promote the campaign on Facebook and social media.

Update 8

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

June 27, 2018

Second appeal court hearing - 28 June.

There will be a second Court of Appeal hearing on 28 June.  Our lawyer are asking the Hon. Court of Appeal to deem this case  urgent so that it can be heard on its merits.  We will keep you posted on the outcome of the appeal hearing.  Thank you for your continuing support.


Update 7

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

June 3, 2018

Our first victory!

Our case went to the Court of Appeal  on Tuesday 29th May. The Government wanted the case dismissed. However our lawyers pointed out the importance and urgency of the issue and the Court has fixed a hearing date for 28th June.  The Court has asked our lawyers to provide further submissions on the question of urgency.  Our lawyers also successfully objected to the oil companies being allowed to take part at this stage.

You can read a full account of the first hearing in the news article attached. First Hearing of Appeal (Registration required).

 We are delighted to have good news to share with all our supporters. We know this is not an easy fight!

Thank you for your continuing support!


Update 6

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

May 28, 2018


Melinda Janki, one of our lawyers, gave a presentation in Guyana last week on the oil deal.  She highlighted the potential financial and environmental costs of the deal as well as pointing out that there are credible grounds for challenging the Petroleum Agreement with the three oil companies, Esso, Hess and Nexen. Here is an extract from the national paper Stabroek News article about the presentation:

"Guyana pays for pipelines, well heads, equipment, offshore platforms, terminals, direct and indirect services including vehicles, aircraft, power plants, housing, furniture, community and recreational facilities…

Guyana pays the legal costs incurred by Esso, Hess and Nexen – even the costs of their in-house lawyers,

Guyana pays for expatriate employees to travel to Guyana and rent houses, Guyana pays labour costs including any bonuses that the management decide to pay themselves and Guyana even pays for employees outside of Guyana including employees of companies that are affiliated to the oil companies,” Janki noted, adding that “Guyana pays for every poor business decision and every extravagant business decision. For Janki, a key disadvantage for Guyana lies in the fact that it relies on these companies for information, notably the amount of oil in Guyana’s reserves is whatever Esso – ExxonMobil’s subsidiary –  announces it to be, oil production is whatever Esso, Hess and Nexen say that it is and the amount of oil that Esso, Hess and Nexen reasonably require for production is whatever they say it is.

“They don’t have to pay for it. This is free oil,” .

You can read the full article in Stabroek News in the attached link.  (Registration required.)

The comments on the article were largely supportive with one commentator stating his opinion that 'This contract is an outrage'. 

We believe that this reflects a changing perception in Guyana, where ordinary citizens are questioning whether the oil can be good for Guyana or good for the planet.

Our appeal is fixed for Tuesday 29 May and we are hoping for a decision in our favour.

Update 5

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

May 12, 2018

Court of Appeal hearing date set for Tuesday 29th May in Guyana

Our lawyers have received a memorandum from the Guyana  Court of Appeal fixing the hearing of our Motion.  We will be arguing that the appeal against the judge's decision should be heard now rather than being fixed for later in the Court's schedule as the court system can encounter delays.  Please follow us on this page and on social media to receive further updates.  THE CAMPAIGN TEAM. 

Update 4

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

April 19, 2018

Solicitors International Human Rights Group presentation TODAY

Our lawyer, Melinda Janki, will be giving a presentation TODAY in London on legal issues around challenging oil production.

Please join us.  

Details and registration link below:

Challenging Oil Production - A call to action


Challenging Oil Production: A call to action.

Thursday 19th April at 6.15pm in room RG05 University of Law, 14 Store Street, London WC1 E7D.  

Melinda  Janki,  an  international  lawyer,  will  discuss legal and environmental issues around the proposed oil production  in  Guyana,  a  small  South American  nation and former British colony. She will discuss the potential impact  on  the  Caribbean  and  the  rest  of  the world through  climate  change  and  biodiversity  loss.  She  will also touch on recent litigation challenging the proposed oil production in Guyana.  

Update 3

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

March 31, 2018

Urgent court appeal filed

Our court case has moved to the next stage. The judge refused to quash the decision of the minister to grant a petroleum production licence to Esso, Hess and Nexen when only Esso has an environmental permit. Our lawyers have filed an appeal.  We are arguing that the judge's decision was wrong in law and that he exceeded his jurisdiction.

Our lawyers have also filed a motion for an urgent hearing of the appeal on the grounds that there is a significant risk of grave and irreparable harm to the environment. With each day that passes the risk from this proposed oil venture project increases. Hess and Nexen can drill and produce oil without being regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency through the environmental permit.

We will let you know as soon as we have a date. In the meantime our lawyers are working hard to prepare the submissions to the court.

Thank you for your support.

Update 2

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

March 23, 2018

Campaign featured in the Guardian

Great news!  Our campaign has featured in the Guardian.  

Here is the link:


This shows the importance of this campaign - not just for Guyana but for the whole planet.

We are keeping up the pressure with the legal action in Guyana.  

We cannot do this without your support.

Please help us to reach our £4,000 target - only six days to go!

Update 1

A Fair Deal for Guyana - A Fair Deal for the Planet

March 22, 2018

Legal action has started!

We have started the first legal action in Guyana to challenge the Minister’s decision to grant a petroleum production licence to three oil companies (Esso, Hess and Nexen) when only Esso has an environmental permit from the EPA. Acting in the public interest, Ramon Gaskin, applied for an interim order to quash the licence and the Minister's decision. 

Unfortunately the judge refused the application. Yesterday Mr Gaskin's lawyers filed an appeal against that decision.  The grounds of the appeal state that the judge exceeded his jurisdiction, misconstrued the environmental and petroleum laws and erred by conflating the requirements for an inter partes hearing with the requirements for an ex parte hearing.

According to Mr Gaskin, “The law clearly states that you must have an environmental permit to do petroleum operations.  I believe that the Minister of Natural Resources acted unlawfully when he granted a petroleum production licence to Esso, Hess and Nexen. Hess and Nexen do not have an environmental permit and I believe the Minister did not have the power to grant that licence.  That is why I am appealing to the Court of Appeal.”

We believe we have a strong case. We also believe that we must pursue this challenge in order to protect the environment for present and future generations and for people everywhere.

Please send this update on to anyone who might be interested. Please support this challenge to protect the environment and please encourage others to do so.

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