Tullow says not much opportunity for local content in exploration phase

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Joachim Vog, Country Representative of Tullow Oil in Guyana, makes a point in the presence of representatives of other companies working offshore Guyana, and Ministry of Natural Resources officials.

Country Representative of Tullow Oil in Guyana, Joachim Vogt, says not much opportunity exist for local content in the exploration phase of offshore operations.

Vogt was at the time responding to a question from OilNOW about the likelihood of Guyanese being employed by offshore operators during the exploration phase of their activities. The question was put to representatives of several companies currently operating offshore the South American country, who were recently gathered at the Ministry of Natural Resources for a briefing on Guyana’s draft local content policy framework.

Vogt said the exploration phase entails long periods of activity which are concentrated in centres elsewhere in the world. “There are geologist and physicist and other people looking at data for months….in all this time, you can’t build in this phase; local content, as we are talking about that today, as a projection for a further stage,” he stated.

He said notwithstanding this, companies operating offshore utilize other services locally. “…we are using offices, we rent houses…we are driving around and we are eating here and we have engagement with local suppliers in different ways. The fact that we can’t have a very visual local content in this phase must be understood, and we want to be transparent about that,” he said.

The exploration phase involves the search for oil and gas reservoirs by geologists and geophysicists using, for example, seismic surveys which, depending on results, could lead to drilling of appraisal wells.

Several dozen Guyanese are currently working offshore on supply as well as exploration vessels, including the Stena Carron, on behalf of ExxonMobil.

Tullow Oil and Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas recently completed a 3D seismic survey in the Orinduik Block, offshore Guyana. Before conducting the 3D survey, both companies carried out the first phase of exploration along with the evaluation of the existing and regional 2D data.

OilNOW also reported in August that two targets are being investigated on the block in water depths of about 70 to 80 meters updip from ExxonMobil’s Liza field that could have as much as 1.8 billion barrels of oil.