In light of current travel restrictions resulting from the novel Coronavirus, ExxonMobil has made plans to adjust drilling activities offshore Guyana. Kaieteur News was able to confirm this with ExxonMobil’s Public Relations and Government Affairs Advisor, Janelle Persaud.
While this decision has been taken, the official noted that ExxonMobil Guyana is working assiduously towards limiting the disruption of the coronavirus to its operations. Persaud added,
“We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and will adjust operations as necessary with safety and the protection of the environment as priorities.” She, however, declined to provide specifics on the adjustments Exxon said it would be making.
Be that as it may, Head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr. Vincent Adams, was able to disclose that ExxonMobil had planned to drill over 20 wells but the Coronavirus has affected the approval process.
Adams explained that initially, ExxonMobil had planned to drill 31 wells in three blocks–Stabroek, Kaieteur and Canje.
The EPA Head said, “They were split up into three blocks and 25 were for the Stabroek. Permission has not been granted as yet because we are still reviewing the Environmental Management Plans for those. Then they have three planned for Canje but that is not permitted. Another three were supposed to be for Kaieteur but after some discussion, they decided to just do one so it is now 29 wells. This entire process would be affected because of the Coronavirus and the need to do staff rotations, etc…”
ExxonMobil owns a 45% stake in the Stabroek Block, with Hess Corporation HES holding a 30% interest. The remaining 25% stake at the block is owned by CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a subsidiary of CNOOC Limited CEO.
In the adjoining Kaieteur Block, located north of Stabroek, operator ExxonMobil owns a 35% interest, partnered by Ratio Energy of Israel and Hess. The 13,500-square kilometer Kaieteur Block’s water depth is in the range of 2,800 -3,800 meters. Moreover, in the 6,021-square kilometer Canje Block located east of Stabroek, ExxonMobil holds a 35% operating stake. It is partnered by Total S.A, JHI Associates, and Mid-Atlantic Oil and Gas.
Just a few weeks ago, ExxonMobil told the world market that significant budget cuts would be forthcoming as a result of the coronavirus. While it is still to make those details known, approval for two of its major projects here, Payara and Hammerhead, have been stalled as a result of the current state of affairs.
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