ExxonMobil will work with Govt to identify 20% of Stabroek Block for relinquishment

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
ExxonMobil Guyana President Alistair Routledge


ExxonMobil is expected to relinquish 20 per cent of the lucrative Stabroek Block later this year and according to the company’s Guyana President Alistair Routledge, they will work with the government to identify which parts of the block to give up.

Following a one-year extension last year, ExxonMobil is now expected to relinquish 20 per cent of its Stabroek Block holdings in October of this year. During a press conference on Tuesday, Routledge was asked about this and whether the company has already identified which areas it will give up.

“We have a good idea, but we haven’t finalised that. And obviously we have to work with the government on the calculation of what the 20 per cent represents. And then the identification of the acreage. And then the government confirming that it is aligning with the obligations of the contract.”

“Relinquishment of acreage in the Stabroek Block. That is scheduled to take place in October of this year. And that is when the next prospecting license renewal takes place. And at that point, we will release acreage back to the government,” Routledge further explained.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has said that the relinquished portion of the Stabroek Block is likely to be included in the next bid round, also expected later this year. According to Routledge, the company will wait and see what is on offer, before it makes a decision on participating in the next auction.

“I mean we’ll look forward to that. We’re always interested. We’ll wait and see what is specifically placed into that bid round and what the terms of the bid round are, before we make that decision,” he said.

The 2016 oil contract for the Stabroek Block, signed between ExxonMobil and the previous A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government, stipulates the relinquishment of 20 per cent of its acreage in the Stabroek block not held by discoveries.

This relinquishment was due last year, but the US oil giant secured a one-year extension, until October 2024, after the force majeure was applied during the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in lost time. Force majeure is a French legal term meaning the occurrence of circumstances beyond control, preventing the fulfilment of a contract.