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ExxonMobil added as defendant in High Court case calling for closure of Guyana operations

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(Demerara Waves) ExxonMobil’s local subsidiary was Monday added as a defendant in a case brought by two Guyanese who are asking the Guyana High Court to order the closure of that American supermajor’s operations here because of its impact on the environment.

Justice Frank Holder, after hearing submissions by lawyers for Dr. Troy Thomas and Quaddad De Freitas, decided that Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEGPL) “ought properly to be added as it had a material interest in the proceeding and its outcome.” EEPGL’s majority stakeholder is ExxonMobil, with the others being Hess Corporation and China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC).

Dr. Thomas and Mr. De Freitas are alleging that that their constitutional rights to a safe and healthy environment have been contravened by the Guyana Government’s entering into several petroleum agreements with EEGPL and its parent ExxonMobil Corp, as under these agreements, EEPGL will produce large quantities of petroleum which when burnt, would create large amounts of greenhouse gases which would in turn, cause climate change making Guyana’s environment unsafe and unhealthy.

Dr. Thomas and Mr. De Freitas had strenuously objected to EEPGL being a party to the case, instead preferring the Guyana government, represented by the Attorney General, to be the lone respondent.

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