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Regional News

February 21, 2007
Guyana's oil future exciting- CGX & Repsol representatives meet with President Jagdeo
GINA (Government Information Agency)

GEORGETOWN - With an award in the arbitration between Guyana and Suriname over the maritime boundary of the two countries to be announced shortly by the Hamburg-based United Nations International Arbitral Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, discussions are being held with oil stakeholders on resumption of exploration activities.

"It's pretty exciting. I think that this is exactly the place to be, over the next five to ten years and it will become a significant part of your economy as you go forward from that period," declared Kerry Sully, President and Chief Executive Officer of CGX Energy Inc., one of the large licence holders for oil exploration in Guyana.

"The Guyana basin in general has a proven petroleum system, so we think there are many opportunities. With new technologies, we are hoping that we can eventually find some hydro-carbons here in Guyana," according to Dewi Jones, Exploration Manager Trinidad/Suriname/Guyana Repsol YPF, another large company in the oil exploration business.

These comments were made today by the companies' executives after meeting with Head of State President Bharrat Jagdeo at his Office in New Garden Street. Commenting on the meeting, Sully said, "We had the opportunity to meet and discuss the oil exploration in the offshore area. Certainly we anticipate very soon exploration activities, once the dispute is resolved with Suriname."

Jones said the decision of the Tribunal has caused exploratory works to be put on hold, awaiting a favourable response for Guyana.

"As soon as this decision takes place, we as a company operating the Georgetown block will reactivate our operations," Jones said.

Sully explained that there remains a considerable amount of work to be done. "We have been reprocessing seismic activities now, that have been shut down in 1999. We have identified some new targets. Once there is the resolution, and hopefully the resolution goes in Guyana's favour, there would be the opportunity to contract seismic vessels."

President Jagdeo indicated at his last press conference that with the decision of the tribunal, he would expect seismic activities to be undertaken by licensed exploratory companies such as CGX and Repsol.

However, he cautioned that government will not prejudge the Tribunal's decision.

"We are hoping that as soon as we have a ruling on the arbitration, we may see exploratory activities in the particular block bordering Suriname. We do not want to pre-judge the decision of the Tribunal, and at this point, we have to be very respectful, but we feel that as soon as that matter is settled, which should be shortly, there should be a boom in the interest for oil."

Other members of the Repsol YPF team included, Carlos E. Jimenez, Manager of Legal Affairs and Allan E. Kean, Senior Geophysicist, Caribbean Region.

Also present at the meeting were Acting Commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission William Woolford and the Commission's Petroleum Division Manager Newell Dennison.

The delineation of the maritime boundary between the two states is expected to be handed down by the Tribunal by mid year.

CGX Energy Inc. had commenced offshore exploration in 2001 in the Corentyne River, but operations were halted when Surinamese gun-boats disrupted the operations.

According to GGMC, four companies are licenced to undertake exploratory work in Guyana: Exxon-Mobil, Repsol, Century Guyana Limited and CGX Energy Incorporated.

There are still large areas in the offshore and the Takutu Basins available for investment for oil exploration.



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