SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (CMC): Power hitter Johnson Charles has described the West Indies as an improving side, with less than a week before the start of the ICC T20 World Cup in India. Charles played a brilliant match-winning knock as West Indies beat Zimbabwe by 10 wickets to win their two-match T20 Series 2-0 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday night. The powerful opener smashed 92 not out off just 48 balls with six big sixes and 10 boundaries to be named Man-of-the-Match. “Tonight (Monday) I had a good batting pitch. The ball was coming on nice. Not much sideways movement. I just decided to stick to what I know. I am a power hitter so I did just that,” Charles explained. “We have moved from strength to strength. From the first game we have been improving in this game we have improved a lot more. We just look to improve as the games go by and hopefully we can go into the World Cup with everybody in form and we could win this World Cup,” he said. Windies motored to a victory target of 154 without loss after the Zimbaweans made 153-7 off 20 overs. The best bowler was seamer Carlos Brathwaite with 3-23, which helped to restrict the innings after a solid start. Charles’ opening partner, Andre Fletcher, made 56 not out off 35 balls with three sixes and five fours, on a good batting surface. “We are best friends and we come from the same team,” said Charles. “We always speak to each other at the wicket and keep complimenting each other. We just motivated each other to do the best that we can.” The St.Lucian cricketer was a member of the West Indies Cricket team which captured the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka four years ago. He was not named on the original squad, but was called up as a replacement for Darren Bravo, who pulled out citing the need to focus on developing his game in the longer format. “I just see it as me coming back for my place and that’s just how I see it,” said Charles. “With that said everything is left to the Almighty Father and that is what he saw as fit and that’s what happens. So I am just going to do what I have to do now that I am here.”
In keeping with the Department of Energy’s previously announced intentions, it has concluded a deal to sell Guyana’s first three oil lifts to a regional branch of Shell, though there is no word on what price was agreed with them.Shell’s Barbados branch, of which very little information exists online compared to its competitors for the oil, will get the first liftsThe announcement was made by the Energy Department on Tuesday, just days after the start of first oil. The Department said that Shell Western Supply and Trading, which is Barbados’ branch for Shell International, will be selling the crude.According to the Department, Shell was one of the nine international oil companies it invited to bid for Guyana’s crude. It was explained that the companies had face-to-face meetings with the Energy Department to pitch their proposals and answer questions.“The companies participating in the phase 1 process included the 3 partners in the Stabroek field. All other participating companies were also International Oil Companies (IOCs) with integrated upstream, midstream and downstream value chains, global refining footprints and experience in the introduction of new crude grades from and into multiple geographies.”“The interested parties submitted their proposals in writing and were subjected to a face-to-face meeting with the DE in order to present the full scale of their capabilities. Companies were also required to lay out the details of their proposals. The face-to-face presentations allowed for robust interrogation and lengthy clarifications and questions.”No informationThe Department explained that this was an important part of the selection process, especially in the context of Guyana’s inexperience with the crude market. Moreover, they pointed to the fact that first oil was only announced on Friday.The Department defended the decision to choose Shell by saying that at the end of the process, Shell had the most competitive yet secure pricing. Despite this, however, the Department did not include any information on what price Shell would be offering for the crude.They also claimed that Shell’s global trading reach, Latin America interests and willingness to share refinery info were factors in the decision. They also claimed that Shell was ready to support the Energy Department in operating the cargoes.“The decision was based on the following criteria: A competitive pricing that limits the Government’s exposure to market uncertainty, the size, scale and global reach of the Shell trading operations’, the company’s high level of integration between Upstream, Trading and Downstream.The Department also cited Shell’s “strong foothold in the Latin American markets and the size and scale of their shipping and storage operations in the region, allowing for multiple options on the Liza crude commercialisation. The range of new grades Shell has recently introduced into the market and their willingness to share critical refinery information with the DE which Guyana needs in order to understand Liza crude behaviour.”First liftMeanwhile, it was explained that Guyana is entitled to its first crude lift in February, while Shell’s three-cargo agreement should end mid-2020. Furthermore, the Department noted that the next phase is an open market request for proposals. According to the Department, this will be launched early in 2020 and will see a marketing agent marketing Guyana’s crude on a term basis.“Phase 1 of the Department of Energy’s announced two-step crude marketing process is close to completion. The Department of Energy had previously announced a two-phased approach to lifting and marketing of Guyana’s crude,” the Energy Department explained in their press statement.“The first phase being a direct sale process in December 2019 and the second an open market Request for Proposals (RFP) to be launched in early 2020 for a marketing agent to market Guyana’s crude entitlements from the Liza 1 field on a term basis. This was necessary to allow, amongst other things, for adequate preparation in structuring and completing the RFP for marketing in early 2020.”The fact that Shell has decided to sell its first three crude lifts on the spot market has raised a lot of eyebrows. After the news first broke courtesy of Bloomberg, the Department had confirmed that it approached a number of IOCs with a view of having them vie to sell Guyana’s crude. These companies include Exxon, CNOOC, Hess, BP (British Petroleum), Chevron, Shell, Total, E&I.This news was immediately criticised by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who has also said that companies participating in this process could be barred from doing business in Guyana should his party be elected next year. In addition, Auditor General Deodat Sharma had said in sections of the media that his department would look into the transaction.It was only on Friday that first oil officially started in the Liza field, which has the capacity to produce 120,000 barrels of oil per day. In addition, Exxon announced its 15th oil find on Monday at the Mako-1 well.
1 Stevan Jovetic Manchester City striker Stevan Jovetic has completed his loan move to Inter Milan.The Premier League club have confirmed the 25-year-old has joined Inter on a 18 month loan deal, with a view to a permanent transfer.Jovetic joined City from Fiorentina in the summer of 2013, but has not been a regular in Manuel Pellegrini’s side.A statement on City’s official website on Friday read: “Stevan Jovetic has signed for Inter Milan on a year-and-a-half’s loan with a view to a permanent transfer.“The 25-year-old Montenegrin joined City from Fiorentina in summer 2013, but injury has consistently upset his progress for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.“He will now go on loan to the Nerazzurri for a season and a half, with a view to a permanent stay.“Jovetic managed 11 goals from 44 appearances at City, with the highlight his double in the 3-1 win over Liverpool in August 2014, and he lifted the Premier League and Capital One Cup trophies in the 2013/14 season.“Everyone at City wishes Stevan well for his time with Inter.”