Dec 23, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – JHI Associates, one of the initial owners of the Canje block, offshore Guyana, has benefitted yet again from its ownership of the block through a sale of shares to UK investment firm, Westmount Energy.
Westmount announced yesterday that it bought 250,000 common shares in JHI Associates Inc. at an aggregate cost of USD$400,000. The purchase was completed on December 21, 2020.
JHI Associates is one of the companies that participated in the suspicious handling of the Canje block, following its award to a local company with no experience or money, Mid-Atlantic Oil & Gas, in March 2015. This was just days before the 2015 elections. Mid-Atlantic and JHI planned to control the block even before it was awarded.
Together, the two companies sold interests in the block to ExxonMobil and Total SA without doing any work. JHI was a key player in setting the stage for secrecy as the two companies handled the Canje block licence, because of its incorporation in the British Virgin Islands – a secrecy jurisdiction and tax haven.
ExxonMobil is now the operator of the Canje block, and is currently drilling its first prospect there, Bulletwood. With just over a dozen prospects, Exxon expects to find 10 billion barrels of oil. It’s following prospects in the block – Jabillo and Sapote.
As a result of the 2018 farm-out to Total, JHI is carried for the drilling of up to four wells and is funded for the drilling of additional wells.
Westmount touts that the Canje block is located adjacent to the Stabroek block, which has yielded 18 commercial discoveries since 2015 of about nine billion oil-equivalent barrels, and is in the same geologic basin. Its recent purchase takes Westmount’s ownership in JHI to 5,363,770 shares, representing approximately 7.2 percent of the issued common shares of JHI as of November 13, 2019, Westmount said. It added that its holding in JHI equates to approximately 67 percent of the value of its assets as of June 30, 2020.
The UK firm has slowly been buying up shares in companies, which own oil blocks in the Guyana-Suriname basin. This allows it to make money from successes in the basin without directly owning oil blocks or having to interface with the Guyana government. It owns shares in four companies with interests in blocks offshore Guyana.
Westmount owns shares in JHI Associates, which has a 17.5 percent stake in the Canje block, Eco-Atlantic Oil & Gas Limited that has a 15 percent stake in the Orinduik block, as well as Cataleya Energy Corporation and Ratio Petroleum, which each have a 25 percent stake in the Kaieteur block.
Westmount says its board considers the Guyana-Suriname basin a major emerging hydrocarbon province and so seeks exposure to opportunities in the basin.
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