Conditions at the mouth of the Berbice River in Guyana may be best suited to facilitate an onshore supply base at Crab Island, according to an engineer whose company has worked extensively in the area.
Crab Island, located in the Berbice River, is currently under consideration by the Guyana government for the establishment of a facility to supply vessels working in an oil field located 120 miles offshore. Oil production is set to begin in the South American country by 2020.
Ground Structures Engineering Consultants Inc. conducted geotechnical work at the mouth of
the Berbice River as far back as 1994. The Guyanese company has also done Environmental Impact Assessment work at Crab Island. Managing Director of the company, Charles Ceres, said based on his knowledge, the Berbice River has some key features which cannot be found anywhere else in Guyana.
“The Berbice River has the deepest draft of all the rivers in Guyana…there is a permanent transshipment port located at the mouth of the river,” he said.
Draft determines the minimum depth of water a ship or boat can safely navigate. It is a significant factor limiting navigable waterways, especially for large vessels.
Describing water depth around the transshipment port at the mouth of the Berbice River, the Engineer said at one end the water reaches a depth of 100 feet while at the other, it is 50 feet deep. “There is no other place in Guyana where you have that.”
When asked if these conditions make Crab Island a preferred location for an on-shore base, Mr. Ceres said, “It is a plus.”
A supply base provides a range of services for offshore exploration, drilling and production operations.
While no final decision has yet been made for the location of such a facility in Guyana, authorities have said it can create up to 600 jobs when oil production begins.