Guyana halts issuance of exploration licenses for one year

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As the Guyana Government’s Energy Department works to increase its capacity, update legislation and have a better understanding of the local and global petroleum sector, it has put a moratorium on the granting of new exploration licenses.

This was disclosed by Director of the Department, Dr. Mark Bynoe at a press conference held at the Ministry of the Presidency on Thursday.

“We do not envisage another licensing round probably until early 2020,” he said.

While the Department is working to “understand the lay of the land,” he said there are already significant players working deep water offshore Guyana, referring to ExxonMobil, Anadarko, Tullow Oil and Total, among others.

He noted that there is significant interests in Block C – off the Canje Block, but the Department is not “anxious” to allocate the block without the requisite “complementary pieces in place.”

One of the mechanisms being put in place is a model Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) aimed at ensuring that mistakes made before do not recur.

Additionally, the Government wants to attract investors to shallow and onshore areas while the development of offshore exploration progresses.

Dr. Bynoe said there has not been the same level of interests in these areas.

“What we hope to advance is to provide as a package, a kind of data necessary for persons to understand the resource base and that is something we are currently discussing with some firms…so that there is greater interests in shallow and onshore exploration interests,” he disclosed.

Oil and Gas Advisor, Mathew Wilks said there is need to structure the regulatory and contractual environment so that for the remaining blocks “we maximize the opportunity for the most revenue for the state.”

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