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Guyana virtually rules out seismic studies before oil blocks auction

Last Updated on Monday, 30 May 2022, 21:22 by Denis Chabrol

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Monday said the Guyana government was yet to decide on whether t0 allow ExxonMobil to participate in this South American nation’s first ever auction of oil blocks set for later this year.

He said a team of experts was currently advising the Guyana government on how to proceed with the auction of the blocks located offshore where ExxonMobil has discovered more than 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent since 2015. “We have a team advising us on how we pursue the auction because it’s the first time we are going to auction so the team is advising us if we go to auction how best do we maximise value at the auction,” he said.

The United Kingdom-based Tullow and the Canadian co-venturers CGX Energy and Frontera have also made discoveries but have not forged ahead with going into production.

Mr Jagdeo said government was yet to decide on whether to exclude ExxonMobil and the 0thers from the bid round because they already have several areas or if they are not allowed, the auction would become less competitive.

He also said government would most likely make available the blocks based on existing data sets rather than conduct fresh seismic studies. “The market is good now. The price of oil is high and I think now is the right time if we go to the auction so we are angling towards going, should we go, using the current data set, not generating future data sets,” he said.

The Vice President said government was going ahead with “rigid enforcement” of the relinquishment provisions in exploration licences that have been granted to companies.