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Guyana is in talks with Middle Eastern state oil companies to take part in oil and gas exploration, Reuters has reported citing an exclusive interview with Guyana’s Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo.
“We’ve had offers from some countries to work with us in this regard. Some from the Middle East,” Jagdeo said on the sidelines of Guyana’s International Energy Conference, which is taking place this week. “Diversification of interest is good for our country.”
According to Reuters, Saudi Arabia and Qatar were among the attendees of the event. The report also said, quoting the Guyanese official, that depending on how the talks end, Guyana may bar Exxon and Hess from participating in an oil and gas tender currently in the works.
“I’m not sure whether we would want Exxon to participate in the bid,” Jagdeo told Reuters. “We haven’t made a decision. But they have a fairly large footprint here already.”
On the other hand, Guyana also wants the new blocks to be tendered to be developed as quickly as Exxon and Hess are developing their successful strikes in the Stabroek Block. If the supermajor offers the same speed of development, the Guyanese government may reconsider its plans for barring it from the tender.
“It is important in the context of net zero to have reserves explored, discovered, proven and developed as quickly as possible within the time frame we have,” the Vice President said.
Exxon and its partner in Guyana Hess Corp. are the only companies producing oil in the tiny South American nation. Since the start of exploration work there, the two have made as many as 28 significant discoveries, unlocking reserves of some 10 billion barrels of crude.
The latest update from Exxon’s Guyanese operations was for a planned threefold increase in production, to 340,000 barrels daily, when a second offshore platform begins operation in the Stabroek Block this month.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.