Jan 07, 2016 News
President David Granger yesterday expressed Government’s full support for the
United States oil and gas giant, ExxonMobil, after the company reported that it will continue exploratory work in Guyana, as early as February.
The President made these comments following a meeting at the Ministry of the Presidency with Stephen Greenlee, President of ExxonMobil Exploration Company, who was accompanied by other top executives including 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; Kimberly Brassington, Senior Director, Public and Government Affairs and Carlton James, Director, Government Affairs.
Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman; Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, also attended the meeting.
President Granger said that the ExxonMobil President provided him with an overview of the company’s operations in Guyana, a statement from the Ministry of the Presidency said.
“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, so far, the results have been very favourable,” the President said.
Greenlee said that with the expansion of the company’s operations in Guyana, it is necessary to provide an update to President Granger. He added that the company is likely to have a growing presence in Guyana in the coming months. He indicated that he is confident in their ability to bring value to the country.
“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 underway on our community programs and socio-economic development opportunities,” Greenlee said.
According to him, the company was especially happy with the discovery made in Guyana and as such, it 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 had 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 is expected to continue until March 2016.
Minister Trotman was 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.
Yesterday, during a press conference, Minister Trotman spoke about the Exxon meeting.
He said that the President also assured that Guyana stands behind the US Company’s explorations and would do everything to prevent interference in the work, from both internal and external forces.
Trotman also disclosed that ExxonMobil is readying to drill another well this year.
The oil discovery is big news for Guyana which has been depending on oil imports to meet energy and transportation needs.
Oil imports account for a significant chunk of the country’s foreign exchange, and the oil deposits discovery and confirmation by Exxon would come with the fact that Guyana’s neighbours are producing oil from their own wells.
Already to prepare for the advent of oil, Guyana is receiving training from the US and other foreign institutions.
The Petroleum Department, once controlled by the President, has now been placed under the direct authority of Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, which is headed by Trotman.
Guyana is moving ahead also with other regulatory and necessary framework that will determine how the oil proceeds will be administered.
Guyana is expected to send a team to Trinidad and Tobago for a key energy conference between January 18-20.
It could be five years before Guyana sees oil production in full swing.
Oil has fallen to record lows, just over US$34 per barrel.
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