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Regional News

December 21, 2006
Don't stop Guyana oil search
Guyana Chronicle

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- A senior petroleum geologist in Trinidad and Tobago has said that although there have been no discoveries of commercial hydrocarbons in Guyana, the search for oil cannot be stopped now.

"The search for oil in Guyana cannot be stopped now. Reviews of existing data and recent drilling results support a renewed effort to find the elusive commercial oil field in Guyana ," said Fazal Hosein, Chief Executive Officer of International Geological Services Limited.

"That field may be just one well away."

Giving a background on Guyana's search for oil, Hosein, a former Chief Geologist at state-owned Petrotrin Trinmar Operations, said the South American country has a long history of exploration for oil and gas, beginning in the 1920s and continuing in phases up to 2005 but with no commercial discovery.

Identifying the three main prospective areas as the Guyana Offshore Province, the Coastal Onshore Province and the Inland Onshore Province, Hosein said each of the provinces has their own characteristics which encourage the continued search for oil.

"The main ingredients for finding hydrocarbons in all three provinces are the presence of oil source rocks, reservoirs and traps or seals, all of which are present," said Hosein, who has evaluated plays in Guyana and Venezuela on behalf of clients.

"In addition, the presence of oil has been established by well tests and oil and gas shows which indicate that commercial quantities of hydrocarbons could be one well away.

"Prospective areas have been identified in each of the provinces and substantial quantities of oil and gas could be found if the mix of requirements for accumulation is present in the prospects," Hosein told an international energy conference in Port of Spain earlier this month.

Hosein, who returns as President of the Geological Society of Trinidad and Tobago in the new year, noted that the interplay of stratigraphy and structure are important in the Offshore Province where recent drilling results were encouraging in the Abary-1 well.

"Deep water turbidite sands encountered in Offshore Guyana are usually associated with large oil fields in a similar setting elsewhere," he added.

He noted that the Coastal Onshore Province is closest to the analog oil field of Suriname where the Tambaredjo and Calcutta oil fields are being developed to exploit more than one billion barrels of oil. Hosein added, "The structural and stratigraphic setting in the Guyana Coastal Onshore Province is very similar to that of the Suriname oil fields. Stratigraphic traps are important and necessary for entrapment of oil migrating up-dip from the offshore source kitchen. If the same depositional environments and facies relationship are present in the Guyana area, then there are excellent opportunities for finding hydrocarbons in two prospective blocks over a large area which could have significant oil reserves."

Hosein said testing of 42 degree API oil in the Inland Onshore Province has been significant but challenging as oil was found in unconventional reservoirs of fractured shale and basalts.

"The excellent cap rocks, the widespread distribution of the reservoirs and the quality of the high priced light oil can present the right conditions for exploitation and confirmation of commercial oil field in this province", he said.

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