July 14, 2006

July 14, 2006: Oil: Williams pushes ...

hard against Exxon Tara Brautigam, CP, July 13, 06

Update: This has been bumped up -- new posts below

ST. JOHN'S, NFLD. -- Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams accused Exxon Mobil Canada Ltd. yesterday of soft-pedalling Hibernia's operating revenues, production and field life in his latest effort to muscle more royalties from the oil company. [No editorializing here, eh?]

Mr. Williams said he met last August with senior Exxon Mobil executives who agreed to have the offshore oil project reviewed by auditors chosen by the province to verify claims that Hibernia was not as successful as they expected.

[....] so he enlisted an independent auditing firm to analyze all available financial information on the project.

Navigant Consulting Inc. found operating revenues accumulated since the project started in 1997 increased approximately six times, to $10.1-billion, from original company projections made in 1990, that revenues would be $1.7-billion.

Williams in squabble with Big Oil - again -- Says ExxonMobil broke vow to reveal Hibernia details
Jon Harding, Financial Post, July 13, 2006

CALGARY - Danny Williams is once again at odds with Big Oil, yesterday accusing Exxon Mobil Corp. of reneging on a promise to reveal detailed financial information about the Hibernia offshore oil project.

[....] Mr. Williams said he has written a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper telling the federal government, which owns 8.5% of the Hibernia project, that Newfoundland and Labrador has been denied access to the information.

[....] Mr. Williams said in April negotiations on Hebron broke down over Newfoundland's demand that it be allowed to obtain an equity stake and the companies' demands for breaks worth $500-million.

When the partners abandoned further talks, Mr. Williams said he wanted to fast-track legislation that would force Exxon Mobil, Hebron's largest partner, to sell its interest to the other proponents or his government.

I remember some dirty work at the crossroads in the time of Paul Martin's government (approx. a year ago, I think) where outright lies were being told by someone journalistic integrity and proper investigation by the media would have been in order. Yet, there was no attempt to investigate and to find the truth. They just spouted the government spin ... Liberal spin. It was over the Atlantic Accord.

Maybe before the obvious editorializing, MSM should go to work. Our problem, as readers, is that we no longer trust the media where the news intersects with the political.


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