2023-01-04

GEORGETOWN - This investigation offers a deep dive into the financial tricks ExxonMobil employs to turn Guyana into its perfect oil province.

Thanks to a lucrative contract with the government, ExxonMobil is dragging the maximum profit out of major oil discoveries off the coast of Guyana. It can deduct the cost, via a tax shortcut through the Netherlands, from taxes in the US.
 
In May 2015 ExxonMobil struck oil for the cost of Guyana, then one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean. Just a few months earlier, the company registered two new legal entities in the Netherlands, purely devoted to its new operations in Guyana. It was the administrative kick off of a true oil bonanza.
 
ExxonMobil signed a highly favourable contract, which, amongst other things, completely exempts the company from taxes. Besides that, ExxonMobil uses a web of holding companies in to gain tax benefits from losses.
 
In the meantime, the company is racing against the clock to outrun ambitious climate policies that could strand its billion-dollar projects in Guyana. The country itself is experiencing huge economic growth. All this newfound wealth is stirring its much larger neighbour Venezuela, who is eyeing to claim peace of the prize.
 
Photo: The office building of ExxonMobil Luxembourg et Cie, a holding company with over hundred billion dollar of assets © Mike Zenari/Reporter.lu

Team members

Luc Caregari

Luc Caregari is a journalist based in Luxembourg.

Olaf Geurts

Olaf Geurts is a Dutch investigative journalist. 

Maarten Bakker

Maarten Bakker is a Dutch journalist and researcher. 

Supported
€20.900, allocated on 23/05/2023
ID
ENV1/2023/227

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