All Stabroek Block co-venturers have now joined arbitration fight over Hess stake

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All Stabroek Block co-venturers have now filed for arbitration in wake of the 2023 announcement by Chevron that it struck a deal to acquire Hess Corporation. A big part of the deal for the U.S. major is the 30% stake Hess has in the Guyana block, where over 11 billion oil-equivalent barrels have been discovered so far. 

CNOOC, the Chinese partner and 25% stakeholder filed recently with the International Chamber of Commerce. This follows similar moves by Exxon and Hess. 

Exxon and CNOOC aim to tap the right of first refusal (ROFR) clause in their joint operating agreement (JOA) with Hess for the block. They believe that they have a right to be offered the Hess stake before it can be offered to Chevron. However, Chevron and Hess believe the clause does not apply to the acquisition deal. 

Darren Woods, ExxonMobil’s Chief Executive Officer, clarified recently that Exxon is not trying to buy Hess, but to establish its rights over the Guyana asset.

The Stabroek Block is currently producing well over 620,000 barrels per day of oil from three projects, according to recent data from Guyana’s Ministry of Natural Resources. Three more will be added in the lead-up to 2027. Exxon, the operator, is on track to produce 1.2 million barrels per day (b/d) by then. Exxon recently made another discovery at the Bluefin-1 well.

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