Shell would have brought some much-needed competition to the Guyana basin by throwing in a bid in the country’s first licensing round. But when the bids were opened on Sept. 12, the major’s name was noticeably absent, leaving one to wonder, what changed their mind.
Shell was among the top rankers that eyed Guyana when the bid round was launched.
It would have returned after leaving the Stabroek block 10 years ago.
Shell was Exxon’s partner in the Stabroek Block and exited just a year before the Liza discovery was made.
Shell would have brought to Guyana, its 40+ years of deepwater development knowledge and downstream experience. It was one of the first ‘Seven Sisters’ – now termed Supermajors – which dominated the global petroleum industry from the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s. And it is a spot it still maintains alongside Exxon, bp, Chevron, TotalEnergies, ConocoPhillips and Italy’s Eni.
Even Chevron had expressed interest but did not bid. TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil, however, have submitted bids as part of separate groups.
There were high hopes for Shell’s return since after leaving the Stabroek Block, company executives said it realised the significant potential a little too late.
Guyana’s National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) opened bid documents from six groups vying for the country’s offshore oil blocks.
The groups are:
- TotalEnergies, Qatar Energy, and Petronas
- Delcorp Inc., Watad Energy and Arabian Drillers
- ExxonMobil, Hess, and CNOOC
- Liberty Petroleum Corporation and Cybele Energy
- Sispro Inc.
- International Group Investment Inc. and Montego Energy