WoodMac expects NOCs to play key role in Guyana, other vital deepwater basins

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Global research group, Wood Mackenzie expects national oil companies (NOCs) to maintain their dominant role in the future, particularly in vital deepwater basins such as Guyana, Mexico, Brazil, and Gabon.

Mexico has PEMEX, Brazil has Petrobras, and Gabon has the Gabon Oil Company. Guyana has not established a NOC yet. The country had announced it was exploring this option a few months ago before moving to auction 14 prime oil blocks offshore.

Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo has said should Guyana establish an NOC, it would be non-traditional at best, to avoid the pitfalls faced by neighbouring countries. He said this meant being a passive investor, with no control of the NOC’s operations or management.

The Vice President had said that any potential partner it chooses to manage its NOC would need to have “deep pockets” as well as deep experience in exploring deepwater basins.

Recently, Dr. Jagdeo said the NOC question has been placed on the backburner, to be picked up again once the offshore auction has been sorted. The government has set aside a few offshore blocks for what its President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, called “government-to-government partnerships.”

Like Guyana, Suriname’s Staatsolie is also eyeing operatorship in shallow water blocks. The company plans to spend an estimated US$1.5 billion through 2026 as part of its Investment Programme, the bulk of which will be for participation in offshore development.

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