Guyana’s gas strategy will explore opportunity for joint development with Suriname

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Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said on May 25 that Guyana’s gas strategy, expected to be drafted at the end of the year, will explore the opportunity for joint development with Suriname. 

“In some areas like Pluma, [there is] more gas, less oil, [and] right across the border in Suriname, they’ve discovered some gas fields. [So] looking at the possibility of joint development, all of that is part of the study,” Dr. Jagdeo said. “We are trying to maximise… from the utilisation of these resources, maximise its value to the country.” 

ExxonMobil has discovered 17 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Stabroek Block, about a quarter of the 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Jagdeo noted that much of it is in the southeastern portion of the block, near the border with Suriname. Pluma and Haimara are gas fields. Similarly, the discoveries in Suriname’s Block 58 indicate large quantities of gas.

Sorting out joint developments can be tricky when the reservoirs being unitised are in different jurisdictions. Guyana’s new model petroleum agreements have added a unitisation clause which, though not currently applicable to Exxon’s Stabroek Block agreement, could provide a useful framework for a joint gas development. 

ExxonMobil Guyana President, Alistair Routledge, said earlier this year that the company is looking very closely at the potential for gas development. The company has prioritised its plan to place 6-10 floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels in the block to bring up the oil. However, it has been including accommodations in its projects’ designs for the possibility of natural gas export. However, significant gas production at those oilfields, it is generally considered, could inhibit the oil recovery ability of the projects.

The government is expected to turn its attention to natural gas, when it concludes the ongoing offshore licensing round.

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