No new oil blocks to be awarded in Guyana at least for another year

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South America’s newest oil and gas hotspot, Guyana, may not award any new oil blocks for at least another year as the country’s Department of Energy (DE) moves to put a number of measures in place which includes enhancement of the legislative framework for petroleum and revision of the model Production Sharing Agreement (PSA).

“We will not be going to market until that framework is more robust,” DE Director, Dr. Mark Bynoe told reporters at a press conference on November 6 in Georgetown.

Dr. Bynoe said with elements of the offshore basin now derisked – alluding to the discovery by ExxonMobil of more than 6 billion barrels of oil – more favourble terms for the South American country can now be included in the PSA.

“We’ve also indicated that we need to do 2D and 3D seismic shoots so that we understand the prospectively that is there which will allow us to then issue blocks in specific quadra,” he stated.

Authorities at present are not fully aware of what the basin potentially contains, he said, and therefore it is imperative that steps are taken to determine this before issuing new blocks.

“So, there are all of these things that we have to pursue first and so there is no great anxiety for us to rush until we get these things in place,” he indicated.

The DE Director said when all these factors are taken into consideration, “realistically speaking…you are looking at somewhere around late 2020, maybe early 2021,” for the award of new blocks.

In addition to ExxonMobil’s 14 discoveries at the Stabroek Block, Tullow Oil has since made two at Orinduik, and exploration activities off the country’s coast is moving full steam ahead.

Oil production is also set to begin in December with the ExxonMobil 120,000 barrels per day Liza Phase 1 Development project.