Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas Ltd), an oil and gas exploration company with licenses in highly prospective regions in South America and Africa, has announced that Eco (Guyana) Oil and Gas (Barbados) Ltd, have acquired the remaining six per cent interest in its Guyana operations.Eco Guyana holds a 40 per cent working interest in the Orinduik Block, offshore Guyana, with the remaining 60 per cent held by Tullow Oil.The Acquisition is being affected via share purchase agreements entered into between Eco Barbados and the minority shareholders of Eco Guyana (the “Minority Shareholders”).The total consideration paid by the Group will be US$200,000 with US$100,000 payable upon closing, expected to be February 27, 2018, and US$100,000 payable 60 days thereafter, in addition to the issuance of a total of 1,700,384 common shares of the company. The Common Shares, which will be issued to the minority shareholders, represent approximately one per cent of the company’s share capital on a fully diluted basis.According to a release, the closing of the acquisition is conditional upon TSX regulatory approval and admission of the Common Shares to trading on AIM.“In connection with the Acquisition, each minority shareholder has agreed not to dispose of more than one-third of their common shares, issued to them at closing of the acquisition, for a period of 90 days. An additional one-third of the Common Shares issued to each Minority Shareholder may be disposed of from day 91 after closing, with the remaining Common Shares held by the minority shareholders being eligible to be disposed of after 181 days following issuance.”Application will be made for the admission to trading on AIM of the 1,700,384 common shares issued to the Minority Shareholders in conjunction with the acquisition of the Eco Guyana shares. Admission is expected to take place March 5.Following admission, it is understood that the issued share capital of the company will consist of 159,195,217 common shares.The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres. Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (Exxon’s subsidiary) is the operator and hold a 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds a 30 per cent interest, and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds a 25 per cent interest.
With pollution taking its toll presently on the environment, resulting in more frequent flooding as a result of clogged drains and canals, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reiterated the importance of having the ban on single-use plastics implemented sooner than later.In an interview with Guyana Times on World Environment Day, Executive Director of the agency, Dr Vincent Adams explained that the EPA has been in consultations with international agencies in this regard.“We’re still working on it in partnership with others too. Of course, you know we have been going to international meetings and conferences with the international communities under the United Nations etcetera but we are putting together a programme and a plan for it and again, all of that is going to be built into our entire strategic plan for the agency in terms of work,” he explained.According to him, the ban on single-use plastics is critical at this point as is a second look at what mercury is doing for the environment.He intends to have a microscopic view of what the effects of these and other contaminants are.When asked how soon can the ban implemented, the Director said he chooses to be “realistic”, saying “in a few years”.Adams reminded that consultations must be held with Guyanese before such a step is taken. He stated that “There are commitments and I don’t wanna say next year. I would like for it to be as soon as maybe next couple of years or so but we’ve got to be realistic here too. It’s not as simple as saying ‘okay you’re going to ban it.’ What are you going to put in place after you ban it and how it’s going to impact business, so there are all kinds of complexities but of course we are doing everything possible to make it happen as soon as possible.”Last April, the then Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at a post-Cabinet press conference announced Government’s position on ending of the use of plastic bags across Guyana.He explained that plastic is a problem across the world and Guyana, for its part, was not exempted from the consequences of this pollution.“Cabinet agreed that the matter had to be addressed if we were truly committed to the tenets of our Green State Development Strategy… It was further agreed that the Government would adopt and institute measures to minimise the use of plastic and propose appropriate legislation to give effect to these measures,” he had explained.According to Harmon, a Cabinet memorandum was prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency in this regard.Providing a timeline, Harmon was optimistic that the ban could be pulled off by the year 2021.“The intention is not going to be immediate, but they are basically going to get people, over time, to wean themselves off of plastics. There are six supermarkets that have indicated willingness to work with the EPA that they start to reduce… the use of plastic bags.”The implementation of this initiative comes at a time when Guyana happens to be one of the countries in the Caribbean that is mostly affected by plastic pollutants.In Guyana, plastic articles, specifically plastic bags, have been the reason for clogged drains, trenches and canals and have oftentimes resulted in flooding over the years. As though a precursor to banning plastic, the Government took a decision to place a ban on styrofoam back in 2016, after much contention.