Corentyne oil drilling results could be known within a month
-President, team visit Repsol rig
Guyana’s quest for oil is steaming ahead with officials yesterday saying that the country could know within a month whether the search is successful.
President Donald Ramotar and a team of government officials along with representatives from the Spanish-owned REPSOL, flew to the ‘Jaguar 1’ well, located about 100 miles off the city’s coast.
While a statement from REPSOL did not immediately speak of the progress of the Atwood Beacon jack-up rig, Natural Resources Minister, Robert Persaud, disclosed that results of the drilling in the Corentyne basin controlled by CGX Energy which has hired the Ocean Saratoga rig, could be known in as little as a month.
Repsol started its drilling operations of the “Jaguar-1” well in Georgetown Block on December 5, 2011 and results from this could come in as little as 60 days.
“The support of the Guyana Government has been essential to reach the actual status of the project. Repsol has been the most successful oil and gas exploration company in Latin America over the last two years,” the company said in a release following the visit yesterday.
Also on the trip were Repsol’s North LATAM Exploration Director, Joseba Murillas and Repsol´s Guyana Country Manager, Giancarlo Ariza and First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar.
“The President’s visit to the drill site reaffirms the government’s commitment to oil exploration and gas,” Repsol said.
On December 5, 2011, Repsol Exploración S.A. initiated operations to drill the exploratory well Jaguar-1, located 160 km East-Northeast of Georgetown, in the offshore Guyana-Suriname basin.
“The well will be the deepest ever drilled in the region (21,425 feet below sea bed) and the drilling operations are carried out by the Atwood Beacon, a jack-up rig capable of drilling beyond 35,000 feet.”
The Georgetown Block was awarded to Repsol in 1997 by the Government of Guyana for exploration and production of oil and gas. Repsol Guyana is the operator of the Georgetown licence with 15 percent shares, and the joint venture partners are YPF, 30 percent (Repsol controlled subsidiary), CGX Energy Inc. (25 percent and Tullow Oil plc (30 percent).
Repsol is one of the largest oil companies in the world with operations in over 37 countries. During the last year, Repsol has shown to be one of the most successful companies with discoveries in Latin America such as Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Gulf of Mexico.
In February, government announced that almost 12 years since being ejected by neighbouring Suriname from the Corentyne area, the Ocean Saratoga rig, hired by CGX Energy, has started to drill at the Corentyne concession.
According to CGX, the Eagle-1 well in the Corentyne area will be drilled to a depth of 4,250 metres to test the Eocene and Maastrichtian geologic zones.
“The well is being drilled by the Ocean Saratoga semi-submersible drilling rig owned by a subsidiary of Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc., a leading drilling contractor with over 40 years of global drilling experience.”
According to Steve Hermeston, President and CEO yesterday would mark a significant milestone in the history of CGX. “We are returning to drill the Eagle prospect that was halted in June 2000 due to overlapping maritime border claims between Guyana and Suriname.”
With oil prices rising, Guyana is pinning its hopes that oil is found in commercial quantities in the two wells being drilled. A significant amount of the revenues spent on oil purchases come from mainly Venezuela.
Already, for the Jaguar-1 well, Repsol and its partners have spent around US$52M, to rent the Atwood Beacon rig, among other things.
The group expects to spend up to US$180M to drill in the Georgetown concessions.
CGX officials have indicated that the operation may cost them around US$55M to drill in the Corentyne area.
But renting the rigs is not cheap. CGX is spending around US$500,000 daily to have Ocean Saratoga anchored in the Corentyne concession.
The Atwood Beacon rig is even more expensive, racking up around $650,000 in costs, daily.
The US and the Commonwealth are working with Guyana to prepare the country deal with the likely possibility that oil is found.