Guyana to conduct review of offshore resources for potential second auction

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The Guyana government plans to conduct an internal review of its offshore resources, a key step towards a potential second auction of its oil blocks. 

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo clarified that the exercise, described as a study this week by senior minister with responsibility for finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, is not seismic in nature.  “It’s internal, so we’re using an assessment of all the available data,” he stated. 

The administration, Jagdeo said, has no plan thus far to conduct government-funded seismic studies.

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An area of interest is the prolific Stabroek Block, in which ExxonMobil has discovered more than 11 billion oil-equivalent barrels. Under existing offshore contracts, companies must relinquish portions of their acreage at certain intervals. “The data would include…the portion of the Stabroek Block [to be relinquished],” Jagdeo confirmed. With ExxonMobil expected to relinquish 20% of this block in October 2024, there is anticipation about its potential value.

Asked whether another auction would be held this year, Jagdeo opted not to commit to a timeline. He said government would decide based on advice from its consultants. 

The government concluded its first auction late last year and is expected to award contracts in the first quarter of 2024. 

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