US company drilling for oil in Guyana

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) – ExxonMobil says it has begun drilling one of the two wells, known as the Haimara-1, located 19 miles east of the Pluma-1 discovery in the south-east Stabroek Block.

The well is being drilled by the Stena Carron drillship and ExxonMobil president, Steve Greenlee, who said, “We continue to prioritise high-potential prospects in close proximity to previous discoveries in order to establish opportunities for material and efficient development.”

He said like the Liza and Payara areas, “the Turbot area is on its way to offering significant development options that will maximise value for Guyana and our partners”.

Meanwhile, a government statement here said that the Noble Tom Madden drillship is also expected to drill the second well, Tilapia-1, located about three miles west of the Longtail-1 discovery.

It said the oil giant has also been making significant progress in the Liza Phase 1 development, which has moved into its peak execution phase ahead of an expected start-up in early 2020.

The statement said that subsea equipment is also being prepared for installation while topside facilities modules are being installed on the Liza Destiny floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel in Singapore and that it is expected to arrive offshore Guyana in the third quarter of 2019.

In addition to the progress being made by ExxonMobil, Guyana's Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) issued a notice to all mariners informing them that Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd (EEPGL) started drilling at the Liza Field on January 5, and will continue until June 30, 2019.

“The drill site is approximately 104 nautical miles from the coast of Guyana and covers an area of 16 square kilometres,” MARAD said, urging mariners were requested to “steer clear”: and to “navigate with caution when in the vicinity”.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, has slammed allegations made by an opposition legislator that the US$18-million signing bonus from ExxonMobil had been hidden for years.

Responding to a letter that Juan Edghill sent to the media on the issue, Jordan said the money was never hidden, as it was always in an interest-bearing account at the Bank of Guyana (BoG).

“The account is a public account and therefore accessible to the auditor general; signatories to the account are all public servants not government ministers,” he said, adding there is a transparent mechanism for transferring funds from the account to the Consolidated Fund then out to pay legal fees via the budget.

“So far, US$3.7 million has been transferred, with a copy of the request to transfer the funds sent to the auditor general.”

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