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Attorney General Office Release. The Court of Appeal of Guyana dismisses appeal of Ramon Gaskin; upholds the decision of the Chief Justice that CNOOC and Hess did not need separate licences to engage in oil development and production in Guyana
- The Court of Appeal (CoA) of Guyana today ruled that Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd (Hess) and China National Offshore Oil Cooperation Guyana (CNOOC) did not need separate licences to engage in oil development and production given the licence obtained by their partner, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (Esso).
- In so deciding, the Court of Appeal effectively dismissed Gaskin’s appeal, and upheld the decision of the Chief Justice, Roxane George, who ruled similarly in February 2020.
- The effect of the CoA’s decision is that the companies’ activities, including oil production, may continue undisturbed.
- Mr. Gaskin had argued before the Learned Chief Justice, and again on appeal, that Hess and CNOOC could not engage in oil exploration or production in Guyana because they had not obtained the requisite permissions. Both the High Court and the Court of Appeal, however, dismissed these arguments, finding instead that since Esso Guyana, Hess and CNOOC were involved in a joint venture, they were covered under the permissions obtained by Esso.
- The parties in the case have been ordered to bear their own costs
- The Minister of Natural Resources was represented by Anil Mohabir Nandlall SC MP, Attorney General and Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Edward Luckhoo SC, Mr. Nigel Hawke, Solicitor General, Mrs. Deborah Kumar, Deputy Solicitor General, and Ms. Eleanor Luckhoo.
- Mr. Andrew Pollard SC represented Esso Guyana, and CNOOC, and Mr. Nigel Hughes represented Hess.
- The appellant, Ramon Gaskin, was represented by Seenath Jairam SC, Melinda Janki, and Mr. Ron Motilall.