No new oil concessions to reopen

Department of Energy Director, Dr. Mark Bynoe

– as gov’t fine-tunes new legislation, model contract
– Energy Dept. says suspension to be lifted early 2020

THE suspension of the issuing of Petroleum Prospecting Licences for the remaining oil blocks would be lifted in 2020, according to Director of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe.

“We have currently in place a moratorium on licensing right now because we need to understand the lay of the land,” Dr. Bynoe said while fielding questions during a press conference at the Ministry of the Presidency on Thursday.

He explained that while significant players such as Tullow, TOTAL, Anadarko and ExxonMobil are already in the deep water, there is much still to be done, noting that only a small portion of the Guyana Basin has been de-risked.

“Yes, Exxon has done some amount of appraisal and development work now going forward, but there are still significant areas in deep water that has not been de-risked. Near shore, very little or no activity; onshore, no activity at all… so in short, what we are aiming at is to look at what currently obtains and to build on that,” Dr. Bynoe explained.
Even so, the director of the Department of Energy said oil companies continue to signal their interest in acquiring concessions in the Guyana Basin with significant interest in Block ‘C’.
“We do understand that there is significant interest in Block ‘C’ but we are not anxious to allocate Block ‘C’,” Dr. Bynoe told reporters. He said while there is considerable interest in Block ‘C,’ such is not the case for shallow and onshore areas.

It was explained that during the period of suspension, the Department of Energy had initiated the process of revising the current legislative framework, in addition to the designing of a model contract that will be used for future Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs). It is intended that the moratorium would be lifted when the legislative framework is revised and a new model PSA is in place.

“Therefore, we do not envisage a possible licensing round maybe until early 2020, and that’s being realistic…,” Dr. Bynoe said.

The Department of Energy is also analysing the possibility of creating a package with requisite data that would give investors greater insight into the resource base, so as to generate greater interest in shallow and onshore exploration interest.

ExxonMobil’s affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) is the operator of the Stabroek Block, holding a 45 per cent interest, while Hess Guyana Exploration Limited holds 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25 per cent interest.

The Canje Block, located offshore Guyana east of the Stabroek Block, is also operated by EEPGL which holds 35 per cent interest, JHI 40 per cent interest and Mid-Atlantic 25 per cent interest.

The Kaieteur Block, located offshore Guyana to the north and adjacent to the Stabroek and Canje blocks, is also operated by EEPGL which holds 50 per cent interest. Ratio Energy Limited holds 25 per cent interest and Ratio Guyana Limited holds 25 per cent interest.
Tullow Guyana B.V and Eco (Atlantic) Guyana Inc are operators in the Orinduik Block. Eco (Atlantic) Oil and Gas Inc. has a 40 per cent interest in the Orinduik Block, while Tullow Oil has 60 per cent.

Meanwhile, in the case of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, it was granted an exploration licence for the Roraima Block offshore Guyana in 2012.

Guyana is divided into two petroleum basins named Guyana and Takutu, respectively. The Guyana Basin is further divided into two basins, Onshore and Offshore.

According to the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), NABI Oil And Gas Inc. and ON ENERGY Inc. have concessions within Onshore Guyana Basin, located some 150 miles from Guyana’s coastline.