Lampooned as "Danny Chavez" after Venezuela's socialist president Hugo Chavez, Mr. Williams has been fiercely criticized in the oil industry and among business commentators for his insistence the province receive greater royalties and an ownership stake in all future developments.It's too bad NLNN didn't hear the presentation in it's entirety to put the remarks in context. In it, Mr. Kellas notes that the demand for state equity is standard practice is some places but only for emerging nations like Angola, Venezuela and Papua New Guinea.
But Mr. Kellas said Mr. Williams is merely reflecting a global trend -- though one absent in the U.S. and Britain -- to demand state equity in oil and gas projects.
His approach is similar to that of North Sea producers like Norway. "The introduction of government equity in Newfoundland and Labrador may be new for the region, but is standard practice elsewhere," he said in the study.
The practice is "rare" (his word) in the other regions he referred to: North America, Europe and the rest of the industrialized world. The notable exception is Norway where they have been gradually divesting for years.
While some might want the province to pursue in a headlong fashion the policies of 3rd world and emerging nations, perhaps it might be more prudent to look at the best practices of more industrialised nations.
Isn't that where we would rather be?