Exxon told may have to relinquish unutilised gas – Jagdeo

Last Updated on Friday, 3 March 2023, 18:01 by Denis Chabrol

ExxonMobil, the operator and major stakeholder in the prolific Stabroek Block, has been informed that it would have to relinquish unused gas fields back to the State of Guyana, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said Friday.

In addition to associated gas that the supermajor said was needed to maintain pressure and quality during extraction of crude, he said the discovery at Pluma and other southern areas of the Stabroek Block contain large gas reserves.

“We’ve made it clear: If they are not going to utilise it (gas), like Pluma, they’d have to relinquish it and we may find other people who may be prepared to utilise the gas and I’m saying this openly; we said this before,” he said.

Mr Jagdeo said his administration was eager to hold talks with ExxonMobil about acquiring another 70 to 80 million cubic feet of gas daily through the the government-owned gas pipeline, which would be constructed by that oil company. “The pipeline that we are paying for already will have the capacity to bring in more gas and we have to start the discussions very early about  utilising the pipeline to  the full capacity,” he said. Already, he said a number of companies has expressed an interest in using the gas to manufacture fertiliser.

He said government was pushing ExxonMobil to complete the gas use plan. “We hope this will be completed very soon,” he said.

Just back from an official visit to India, he said that Asian country was expected to assist Guyana with the preparation of the national gas strategy which should be completed by yearend. Indian experts are also due to be attached to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources. “It deals with strengthening our regulatory capacity and sharing expertise in building capacity in the staff of the Ministry of Natural Resources,” he said.