Large oil companies head to Guyana’s rich oil, gas basin

Three of the world’s largest oil and gas companies are preparing to bid for offshore blocks near to where United States oil giant ExxonMobil found large amounts of sweet light crude oil off the Caribbean Community nation’s coast two years ago officials said Friday.

Resources Minister Raphael Trotman said a high level team from California-based Chevron Corp is expected in the country next week to discuss an application for an offshore bloc while British Petroleum and Brazil’s Petrobras have also signaled plans to apply for blocs.

Trotman said that “Chevron has made a very good application to government for its own offshore bloc but we will see about this as there are very few blocs left to give. There are not that many out there anymore,” he said.

This is as Exxon earlier this month applied to authorities to begin developing its Liza Phase Two bloc where it plans to drill at least 40 wells. It has drilled six successful large wells so far. Liza 1 will see 17 wells being drilled with nine working as producing wells and the others being used to pump gas and water to maintain pressure to bring up oil from the seabed to floating storage ships the company has said.

Trotman said a BP team is currently in Guyana talking with authorities while Chevron is due early next month.

“So the world needs to know that all the major players are headed to Guyana, indicating their interest in the basin. The cabinet sub committee will meet shortly to look at what is left in the basin and how these will be allocated.”

Exxon with partners Hess Oil and Nexen of China plan to begin production in 2020, producing more than 120,000 barrels of oil daily. The basin so far has proven reserves of more than three billion barrels of oil. Its gas potential is currently being assessed.

Other big names either bidding for blocs, buying into companies with concessions or planning to do so include Repsol, Tullow Oil of the UK ENI of Italy and TOTAL of France. TOTAL recent moved to invest into Eco Atlantic’s Orinduik field.

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