The United Kingdom and several American States are very serious about public disclosures when it comes to their hydrocarbon sector. They ensure that drilling results by oil and gas multinationals are published.
Those results are reflected in well logs. Those logs hold detailed records of what the operators find. They can be used to independently analyse the finds’ oil and gas contents.
Kaieteur News has seen several online portals with information that can be perused by anyone on well records.
It appears accepted across many of those jurisdictions to grant a period of confidentiality to reward operators for making a risky investment. But reporting to the State immediately is a requirement. Failure to report immediately may result in a relaxing of that confidentiality reward.
In the US, the confidentiality period may last one year after production, after which the State releases the information to the public. In Exxon’s home State of Texas, the regulatory body for the oil and gas sector is called the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC). That State’s confidentiality period begins after drilling operations are completed.
Kaieteur News has perused well logs from Exxon’s drilling operations in the US. They are not private.
Because offshore projects take much longer to complete than onshore projects, they tend to carry a longer confidentiality period. For the UK, the period lasts three to four years from the date of the contract award.
Guyana’s situation is more similar to the UK than most of the instances described of the US. Guyana’s commercial reserves have only been found offshore thus far. If Guyana was using a system like its former colonial master, some well logs would have started going public already.
That is not the reality here. The Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) takes requests for access to well logs. However, the only logs that can be accessed are the ones covered by contracts that have come to fruition, like those from the 1940s, since abandoned by companies like Exxon’s predecessor, Mobil.
Logs for current contracts, like the one that covers Exxon’s 15 material discoveries in the Stabroek Block, are not accessible.
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