By Abena Rockcliffe-Campbell
Some economists are actually saying that Guyana is well on its way to becoming the economic hub of the Caribbean. This sort of optimism is being energized mostly by the rapid expansion of the country’s oil and gas industry.
While all the focus seems to be on ExxonMobil, there are other companies in the shadows that are doing tangible work.
Recently, United Kingdom (UK) High Commissioner, Greg Quinn said that many English companies have been showing interest in Guyana. He said that ever since it has been confirmed that Guyana indeed has oil, “the interest from UK companies has gone through the roof.”
Quinn said that new companies have been coming to Guyana almost every week. He said that a lot of these are service companies.
Further, he said that Tullow Oil “has started to ramp up activities – doing seismic surveys, and there are a bunch of other new companies not just in the oil and gas sector. People are thinking once the money starts to come in and people have more disposal income, other areas will be lucrative as well.
Tullow Oil is a multinational oil and gas exploration company founded in Tullow, Ireland with its headquarters in London, United Kingdom.
Kaieteur News has done some research which highlighted Tullow’s ambitious schedule to begin drilling for oil by next year. With this sort of schedule, Tullow may start oil production not so long after ExxonMobil’s 2020 slate.
Tullow is working along with Eco Atlantic. Eco Atlantic (Guyana) Inc holds a 40% Working Interest in Orinduik, and Tullow, the Operator, holds the remaining 60%.
Just as Quinn indicated, the company is presently carrying out seismic surveys. Explorers use seismic surveys to produce detailed images of local geology to determine the location and size of possible oil and gas reservoirs. Sound waves are bounced off underground rock formations and the waves that reflect back to the surface are captured by recording sensors for later analysis.
Tullow’s survey is being done on the company’s Orinduik Block located in shallow waters offshore Guyana. That block is estimated to hold over 900 million barrels of recoverable oil, indeed a huge sum.
The area is not far from where United States oil giant, ExxonMobil, has found commercial quantities of oil at Liza and Payara.
Online media reports said that Tullow and its partner have completed the first phase of exploration including evaluating all existing and regional 2D data. Following the results of this study and the ongoing regional success, both parties have agreed to accelerate and significantly increase the originally proposed 1,000km2 3D survey commitment on the block to around 2,550 kms2, thus covering the entire block area, fully overlapping current prospective 2D leads and down dip trends.
Colin Kinley, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Eco Atlantic was also reported as saying “We are excited to embark on this very significant 3D survey which is substantially greater than the originally planned survey. In addition to de-risking the existing two defined targets, the survey will hopefully generate additional targets on the Orinduik Block, thereby increasing the prospective oil in place and adding leads for future work programs.
He said, “The 2D interpretation has led to at least two significant reservoir leads on the Orinduik block that both we and Tullow believe may hold significant oil comparable to the world class regional discoveries identified by Exxon. Eco Atlantic expects to confirm a number of drilling targets with this increased 3D Survey, ahead of drilling of the first well in Orinduik, hopefully in 2018.”
Kinley was quoted in online media reports saying that their company was approached several times by companies offering to buy its stake in the Orinduik block. However, Eco Atlantic reportedly declined the offers. The company, it was reported, plans to push the launch of drilling at Orinduik forward to 2018, three years ahead of schedule, in case international oil prices stay where they are now.
The United States Geological Survey ranks the Guyana-Suriname basin as the world’s second-most prospective, underexplored offshore basin, with an estimated 13.6 billion barrels of oil and 32 trillion cubic feet of natural gas yet to be discovered.
It is in this basin that Eco Atlantic holds a 40% working interest in a significant licence, which is just 6.5 km from ExxonMobil’s world class Liza oil discovery.
ExxonMobil and Hess recently confirmed that the deep-water Liza Field is officially the largest commercial find in South America in 50 years and holds an estimated 1 billion to 1.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent, making it one of a handful of billion-barrel discoveries in the last half-decade. The Liza Field is adjacent to Eco Atlantic’s Orinduik Block.
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