Published On: Tue, Nov 27th, 2012

St Lucia opposition calls on PM to answer ten questions on oil exploration deal

CASTRIES, St Lucia - Caribbean News Now reports that according to the opposition United Workers Party (UWP), Saint Lucians have followed with great curiosity the debate on the issues related to Saint Lucia’s oil exploration agreement with Jack Grynberg, and has called on Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony to answer “some burning questions” in this regard.

“We are now extremely concerned given the revelation in May, 2012 that [Grynberg] has initiated arbitration proceedings against the government of Saint Lucia with a claim of US$500 million for breach of contract,” the UWP said in a press release.

The agreement with Grynberg was initially signed by Anthony during his first term in office as Saint Lucia’s prime minister in March 2000.

“Now that Dr Anthony is back at the helm of the government as prime minister and, given his direct involvement in giving life to the now controversial agreement, it is now vital that the current prime minister answers some burning questions which continues to linger on what some now refer to as ‘The Grynberg Affair’,” the UWP said.

According to the UWP, these questions are as follows:

  1. Are you satisfied that you exercised due diligence and background checks on RSM and Jack Grynberg before inking the agreement in March of 2000?
  2. Why did you not submit to the advice of your then attorney general at the time that you commissioned the services of a petroleum lawyer to review the agreement before it was signed?
  3. What was the justification for signing an amendment to the original agreement in September 2000 that effectively granted an expansion of the area for exploration only six months after signing the original agreement and with no evidence of tangible work having been undertaken by Jack Grynberg/RSM Productions?
  4. What was the justification for modification of a first draft agreement submitted by Grynberg in 1999 to the one signed in March 2000, which effectively removed the requirement for a license application?
  5. Were you aware that, by signing the March 2000 agreement, you were in fact committing an infraction in contravention of Section 4 of the Mineral Vesting Act of Saint Lucia?
  6. Why did you sign an extension to the agreement with Grynberg/RSM Productions in 2004 (four years after the original agreement) even when by that time the company had not shown any evidence of tangible work within Saint Lucia’s jurisdiction? Further were you not aware that even when you signed an extension (submitted by Grynberg) to the original agreement in 2004 with the “Force Majuerre” clause retained, that Grynberg had earlier that year revoked the “Force Majeurre” clause as pertains to the Grenada agreement at the time?
  7. Bearing in mind your pronouncements for transparency and accountability and also your aggressive posture in advocating on matters of national importance, why have you remained so low-keyed and withdrawn in providing disclosure on this matter?
  8. Did you in fact request of former Permanent Secretary, Earl Huntley that the Grynberg agreement be kept a secret away from the people of Saint Lucia? What was the reason for keeping this secret away from Saint Lucians for such a long period (ten years)?
  9. In your privileged position now as prime minister, have you been able to secure any evidence that former Prime Minister Stephenson King did in fact sign an extension to the exploration agreement with RSM Productions/Jack Grynberg?
  10. Will you respond to the numerous requests from the opposition leader Stephenson King, the United Workers Party and many Saint Lucians and come forward soon to address Saint Lucians as prime minister on this Grynberg Affair and your role in it?

“The questions above are submitted in the name of all Saint Lucian taxpayers. We wish to assure Prime Minister Anthony that his failure to respond on this matter will not frustrate the efforts of the United Workers Party to seek full disclosure. the prime minister’s continued silence on the “Grynberg Affair” can only contribute to the growing sentiments of mistrust from the Saint Lucian electorate,” the UWP concluded.

Click Tag(s) for Related Articles: