LONDON (AP): Qualifying for the Champions League looks increasingly out of reach for Manchester United. The season could still end with silverware after Louis van Gaal’s side reached the FA Cup final by beating Everton yesterday. And yet van Gaal still has the air of a manager who could be leaving his job. Even amid the joy at seeing Anthony Martial score in the third minute of stoppage time to clinch a 2-1 victory over Everton in the semi-final, van Gaal responded curtly to a question about the team beyond this season. “I am not looking beyond this competition, the FA Cup, because we live in the present,” van Gaal said. “As for the future, I will discuss that with my board and not with you.” When it was pointed out that he had another season remaining on his contract, the 64-year-old Dutchman said: “Yes. You repeat what I have always said.” Disappointing season Martial set up Marouane Fellaini’s opener in the 34th minute against his former club. Although David de Gea saved Romelu Lukaku’s penalty early in the second half to preserve United’s lead after Ross Barkley was brought down by Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Gerard Deulofeu’s cross was inadvertently turned into his own net by United defender Chris Smalling with 15 minutes remaining. Martial’s winner was a slick completion of a rapid attack that prevented extra time. The 20-year-old France forward linked up with Marcus Rashford on the left flank and then played another one-two with Ander Herrera before slotting in the winner. The 11-time FA Cup winners will discover today whether Crystal Palace or Watford will be their opponent in the May 21 final. With four games remaining, United remain fifth, four points behind Arsenal, who play relegation-threatened Sunderland today. Crosstown rivals Manchester City are a further point ahead in third place after beating Stoke 4-0 in one of four Premier League games yesterday. Kelechi Iheanacho, City’s 19-year-old forward, scored twice after first-half goals from Fernando and Sergio Aguero from the penalty spot. Newcastle remained in the relegation zone despite coming from behind to draw 2-2 at Liverpool, who announced before the game that defender Mamadou Sakho failed a drugs test before a Europa League game last month. After conceding goals from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana in the first half, Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle salvaged a point, thanks to strikes from Papiss Cisse and Jack Colback on the manager’s return to the club he won the Champions League with in 2005. Brought down Southampton kept alive their outside shot at qualifying for the Europa League by compounding already-relegated Aston Villa’s woes. Dusan Tadic scored twice in a 4-2 victory for seventh-place Southampton, between headers from Shane Long and Sadio Mane. Deposed champions Chelsea are a place behind after cruising to a 4-1 victory at Bournemouth, who have already secured a second season in the Premier League. Cesc Fabregas played a key role in all four goals, including Eden Hazard’s double that produced his first league goals of a disappointing season for the reigning player of the year. Pedro Rodriguez and Willian also scored for Chelsea. The focus shifts to the title race in the coming days. Leicester, who have a five-point lead over Tottenham, host Swansea today. Tottenham face West Bromwich Albion at White Hart Lane tomorrow.
With optimism high about oil and gas production in Guyana being inevitable and much talk about the tremendous economic benefit this can bring to Guyana, many may be disappointed to learn that, according to sources, the country will receive less than 12 per cent of oil revenue when production starts within the next few years.According to sources, Guyana’s chunk of any oil revenue was pegged at less than 12 per cent. ExxonMobil anticipates it will begin pumping oil by 2020 – about 100,000 barrels per day in the initial stages.The Government was expected to renegotiate the exploration contract with ExxonMobil, but what is not known is if this 12 per cent is what was agreed to initially when this contact was inked 17 years ago or what was derived from the renegotiation process.When contacted, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman said he was travelling in an emailed response and did not respond to Guyana Times’ follow-up email for a comment on the issue.In July, Finance Minister Winston Jordan had insisted that he requested a review of the contract with ExxonMobil, since this was Government’s way of ensuring that Guyana got the best possible deal from the extraction of oil when production began.“At the end of the day… you have to say whether we are doing what is best for the interest of the national population and I can tell you we are indeed doing that. A 2009 agreement or 2006 agreement or whenever the agreement was originally made was at a time when there was no discovery of anything, now there is oil,” Minister Jordan had said.While there has been much talk from the Government about the potential of oil revenues to transform Guyana, there has been very little information on what exactly is the Government’s share of the earnings.Already Guyanese were told not to expect too many jobs in the oil and gas industry here, as most of the jobs will be for foreigners with the requisite expertise.On May 20, 2015, ExxonMobil announced a significant oil discovery in the Stabroek Block with its Liza 1 well hitting more than 295 feet of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. Then, there was a second announcement in June 2016 that the drilling results from the Liza 2 well, the second exploration well in the Stabroek Block, located some 120 miles offshore Guyana, confirmed a “world-class discovery” of oil with a recoverable resource of between 800 million and 1.4 billion oil-equivalent barrels. Exxon’s Liza 3 well was spud last month and that result is expected in coming weeks.ExxonMobil Corp was recently fined a whopping US$74 billion for underpaying royalties in the central African nation of Chad where the company has been drilling for 15 years.According to international reports on the mega fine by Chad courts, the amount is about five times more than that country’s Gross Domestic Product, which the World Bank estimates at US$13 billion. The High Court in the capital, N’Djamena, announced its ruling on October 5 in response to a complaint from the Chad Finance Ministry that a consortium led by ExxonMobil had not met its tax obligations. The court also demanded the Texas-based oil giant pay US$819 million in overdue royalties.