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Guyana asks Canada for help to review Payara oil field project

Guyana has asked Canada for help in reviewing the Payara oil field project before government approves the development plan to allow for ExxonMobil to issue its Final Investment Decision (FID), President Irfaan Ali said Tuesday.

“We are in the process of engaging an international expert to do that review on the work that has been done so far,” he said. Mr. Ali said Canada has been asked to assist with “sourcing someone” who would be paid with funds set aside for technical assistance.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, who is responsible for Guyana’s oil and gas sector at the Office of the President’s Department of Energy, is expected to provide details on Wednesday at a news conference.

ExxonMobil has publicly called for the long-awaited approval of the Payara field development plan this month to allow the consortium under the umbrella of Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited to make its FID next month.

Among the documents that the now just over one-week old People’s Progressive Party Civic-led government has been reviewing are those for the Payara project in keeping with its campaign promise to reexamine the oil deals. “Specifically, in relation to the Payara licence, I have convened a meeting with various stakeholders and I have made it very clear that we are going to have a review of all that has been done so far,” he said.

ExxonMobil’s Senior Vice President, Neil Chapman has cautioned that the longer that Guyana takes to approve the Payara field development plan, the country could suffer major losses.

The oil consortium hopes to begin producing 220,000 barrels per day from Payara by 2025.

The Payara discovery was announced in January 2017. Payara is ExxonMobil’s second oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Payara- 1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering more than 95 feet (29 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. It was safely drilled to 18,080 feet (5,512 meters) in 6,660 feet (2,030 meters) of water.

Meanwhile, the President said the Guyana government is likely to hire Trinidad and Tobago Local Content expert, Anthony Paul who had previously worked with the Guyana government under the David Granger-led administration.