Govt to undertake studies to assess petroleum resources in oil blocks

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
The Liza Unity FPSO

Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh has announced that Government will be undertaking studies in 2024 to determine the scope of available resources and potential of Guyana’s offshore oil blocks.

Addressing the National Assembly in his National Budget speech, the Senior Minister in the Office of the President relayed, “On the institutional side, the main coordinating and oversight agencies within Government have implemented systems that allow for both physical and remote monitoring of the offshore activities in real time. Additionally, in 2024, we will be undertaking key survey studies on the offshore blocks to better assess the potential petroleum resources available for development and production.”

On the exploration front and in line with the commitment to competitively auction oil blocks, the country’s inaugural licensing round was completed in 2023. Dr Singh disclosed that his Government reviewed the global best practice mechanism on making block sizes attractive for investments while simultaneously promoting an accelerated rate of exploration and development.

Fourteen such blocks were offered within Guyana’s shallow and deep-water areas.

During the bidding round, eight blocks were shortlisted based on the bidders’ ability to meet the criteria of the expected work programme as well as the required financial commitments. This included two blocks to a local company and the remaining six to companies from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and North America.

“Negotiations with all identified bidders started in the fourth quarter of 2023. Awards and exploration activities and the issuing of licences are expected to begin early in 2024,” the Minister updated.

Advancements in exploration in 2023 included three new oil discoveries – two in the Stabroek Block and the other in the Corentyne Block. Consequently, the total number of discoveries increased to 40 in the Stabroek Block and 46 for all explored blocks.

Collectively, production could climb well above 1.3 million barrels per day beyond 2027, making Guyana the single largest non-OPEC contributor to global supplies.

The Finance Minister told the House that encouraging accelerated production is integral to ensuring that Guyana optimises on its resource potential in a net-zero environment, as well as to securing revenue from the sector to accelerate its development agenda.

In this regard, 2023 saw a ramp-up in volumes from the Destiny and Unity production platforms, while the Prosperity FPSO achieved first oil in November 2023. This will continue in 2024.

“More advancements in development on the Yellowtail Project. There were also strides in 2023 with development on the Uaru Project amid commencement of the hull and topside fabrication of the FPSO.  Additionally, Whiptail is being progressed as Government started reviewing the Field Development Plan submitted last year,” Dr Singh relayed.