Guyana seeks investor to develop offshore natural gas resources

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Guyana’s Ministry of Natural Resources has announced a request for proposals (RFP) from private companies for the design, finance, construction, and operation of essential gas infrastructure to support offshore developments in the South American nation. This initiative is part of the government’s strategy to expedite the development of its natural gas resources.

The notice emphasizes the government’s goal of a safe and timely development of its gas resources, alongside establishing an open-access infrastructure system. This system is intended to serve both existing and future upstream oil and gas developments, including necessary pipelines and other infrastructure essential for monetizing the offshore gas.

Key points of the RFP include the evaluation of the commercial, technical, and environmental feasibility of the required infrastructure. Notably, the project will be entirely privately financed and owned, indicating the government’s preference for no direct involvement in the project’s ownership.

The procurement process includes a comprehensive set of requirements. Applicants are expected to demonstrate their capability and credibility to execute such a project, submit clear written agreements among parties, and, in the case of consortiums, provide evidence of consortium agreement. Other requirements include a site plan, a detailed project schedule, project cost estimates, a project structure diagram, a business plan, a list of legal agreements, proposed capital structure, and details of proposed local content.

The RFP sets a deadline for proposal submissions by 9:00 am on Tuesday, February 27, 2024. The National Procurement and Tender Administration Board will receive and open the submissions on this date. The government is expected to publish the submissions. 

This call for proposals comes as Guyana crafts a gas strategy expected to outline the roadmap for the development of the nation’s gas resources. The government has previously sought public input for this strategy. The urgency in developing the gas resources is partly attributed to ExxonMobil’s perceived reluctance to prioritize gas development projects. ExxonMobil has discovered over 11 billion oil-equivalent barrels in the Stabroek block offshore Guyana, with a significant portion estimated to be natural gas. However, the company has prioritized oil development, having lined up six projects to produce oil, with the likelihood of it moving on a seventh later this year.

Guyana’s Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo, has expressed dissatisfaction with ExxonMobil’s pace in developing gas resources, though Exxon has said it is exploring the potential for gas development. Jagdeo has stated that if ExxonMobil is not interested in gas development, the discoveries should be relinquished to the government for development by other interested parties.

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