It has become customary in recent years for different signals to be sent by the two main players in the New National Party (NNP) set up – Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and his long-serving deputy, Gregory Bowen.
It happened again on Tuesday morning at the first post-Cabinet press briefing of the newly re-elected New National Party (NNP) government following the March 13 general election.
Again, the issue of oil and gas involving the Russian outfit, Global Petroleum Group (GPG) was at the centre of contradicting statements from the two main leaders in NNP.
During the election campaign, Prime Minister Mitchell told the final rally of his party that money for so will be coming to Grenada because the Russians had discovered oil and gas in one of the exploratory wells drilled so far.
He told NNP’ites: “Sisters and brothers, the (GPG) report said that we have found significant gas and oil in the waters of Grenada in one well so far. Sisters and brothers, you know what that means for your future. It means a lot for the future of the country. In other words, Grenada can be a massive supplier of gas and oil with God’s blessing…we will be marching up”.
It now appears on the surface that this was a very misleading statement made by PM Mitchell as the Russians never gave any information about oil discovery.
At Tuesday’s post-Cabinet Press briefing, Minister Bowen who now holds the portfolio for Energy said that it was gas that was discovered by GPG in the well that was drilled and not oil.
THE NEW TODAY had picked up reliable information from credible sources weeks ago that the type of drilling done by GPG was not done deep enough where oil might be located but more in an area where gas could be extracted.
PM Mitchell was found again to be very misleading in 2017 when he told reporters at a press conference that there was a bidding process that resulted in the Russians winning the contract to explore for oil and gas in Grenadian waters.
One week later, Minister Bowen came out and provided quite contradicting information to the public.
The No. 2 man in the NNP regime said that there was never a bidding process and that GPG was virtually handpicked to do the exploration work based on the proposal that was submitted to government.
THE NEW TODAY is convinced that a lot of vital information is being kept from the Grenadian public by their current leaders on the arrangement reached with GPG on exploring for oil and gas.
About two weeks ago, the people of Grenada had to read a Trinidad newspaper online to hear about the manner in which any gas found in their territorial waters would be disposed off by the Russians.
There was a signing ceremony in Port-of-Spain between that country’s state-owned oil company and the Russians in which not a single Grenada government official was seen in the room.
Why was there not a simultaneous announcement in St. George’s and Port-of-Spain about the signing ceremony for the nation’s patrimony?
This newspaper holds the view that the Mitchell-led government should be the ones to inform the Grenadian people on what is being done with their resources by GPG in signing an agreement for possible sale of gas to TNT’s state-owned gas company.
What exactly is it that the Russians signed with the Trinidad company with respect to Grenadian gas?
How do we as a people know that the GPG/NGC deal is definitely in the best interest of Grenada and not more beneficial to the Russians and the Trinidadians?
THE NEW TODAY has also been picking up information that the NNP has been taking millions of dollars up front from the Russians to be offset most likely against future oil and gas sale.
Did GPG advance US$5 million to the Mitchell/Bowen NNP government for legal fees in a battle with U.S oilman, Jack Grynberg? If so, is there an agreement for payback of the money to the Russians that is not in the public domain?
There is a document in which the GPG Chief Director was asking Minister Bowen to account for US$650, 000.00 that was handed over to him allegedly through one Lev Model and not into the Consolidated fund. What is the status of this money?
Has the NNP been taking money up front from GPG and for what purposes? If correct, what has become of those funds? What were the monies spent on and where is it properly accounted for?
Did the Russians give the NNP party any money for Campaign 2018 on the understanding that they will recuperate every penny down the road on the future sale of gas?
Our current leaders are not providing information to the people with respect to the handling of the nation’s resources on the seabed.
This newspaper is now forced to ask the question – who is really running the gas and oil sector in Grenada – is it the government and people of Grenada or the Russians?