Bright prospects for oil –Granger says after meeting with Exxon officials

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From left: Ms. Kimberly Brasington, Senior Director, Public and Government Affairs, ExxonMobil; Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Raphael Trotman; Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Greenidge; President David Granger; Mr. Stephen Greenlee, President of ExxonMobil; Mr. Michael Cousins, Exploration Executive Vice President; Mr. Erik Oswald, Exploration Vice President; Ambassador (Ret'd) Craig Kelly, Senior Director for the Americas- International Government Relations; and Mr. Jeff Simons, Country Manager, Esso Guyana, at the close of this morning’s meeting

PRESIDENT David Granger has said that, despite developments still being in the exploratory stages, the prospects for U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil finding oil in Guyana in commercial quantities are very favourable.

Commenting after a high-level meeting with top executives of ExxonMobil, the President reiterated his government’s full support for the top oil company, according to a Ministry of the Presidency release. ExxonMobil had, early last February, reported that it would continue exploratory work in Guyana.

President Granger said the ExxonMobil President has provided him with an overview of the company’s operations in Guyana. “Exxon continues to be optimistic and positive. It is too soon to make predictions. They are still in exploratory stages, but what I can say is (that), so far, the results have been very favourable,” President Granger said.

Stephen Greenlee, President of ExxonMobil Exploration Company, has said that with expansion of the company’s operations in Guyana, it was necessary to provide to President Granger an update on the activities of the company. He added that the company is likely to have a growing presence in Guyana in the coming months, and indicated that he is confident in the company’s ability to bring value to Guyana.

“I wanted to talk to the President about our progress on the [Stabroek] Block, as we have gone out and acquired seismic data and are preparing for a second drilling campaign. We wanted to share with the President our commitment to the project. We also wanted to update him on our future activities, both on the discovery that we made and future exploration. Finally, I wanted to talk to him about some of the work that is getting under way on our community programmes and socio-economic development opportunities,” Mr. Greenlee said.

According to Greenlee, the company has been especially happy with the discovery made in Guyana, and remains committed to advancing exploratory work here.

“Last year, we made a discovery offshore Guyana and it is very promising…so we want to follow up with data collection to understand the size and the commerciality of the discovery. We want to acquire new data so that we can fully assess the potential of the Block offshore Guyana for the value that it will bring to Guyana and ExxonMobil in the future,” he said.

ExxonMobil began oil and gas exploration in Guyana on March 5, 2015, drilling offshore in the Liza-1 well in the Stabroek Block. On May 20, the company announced that its exploration drill ship, the Deepwater Champion, has made a significant oil find in the Block, about 120 nautical miles offshore Guyana.

Last month, the company contracted the Fugro Americas, a multi-purpose vessel designed to conduct high-resolution geophysical surveys and sea-floor mapping. This ship is expected to continue working in the area until March 2016. Minister Trotman has been given a tour of the 193-foot-long vessel, and briefed on the technology being utilised to conduct the surveys which will inform the company’s plans for the area.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman said the the Oil and Gas sector will be getting much attention from his ministry this year. Trotman said his ministry, as mentioned before, will be formalising the foundations necessary for establishment of a Petroleum Agency, and will be paying keen attention to lessons learnt in the Region and further afield.

“I have been asked by President Granger to be his representative at the upcoming Trinidad and Tobago Energy Conference, scheduled for January 18 to 20 in Trinidad and Tobago. A small team, including technical officers from GGMC and the ministry, will be attending this event,” he disclosed.

In addition to Greenlee, other top executives attending the meeting included: Erik Oswald, Exploration Vice President; Michael Cousins, Exploration Executive Vice President; Craig Kelly, Senior Director for the Americas- International Government Relations; Jeff Simons, Country Manager for Esso Guyana; Ms. Kimberly Brasington, Senior Director, Public and Government Affairs; and Mr. Carlton James, Director, Government Affairs. Trotman; Minister of State, Joseph Harmon; and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, also attended the meeting.