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Regional News

May 23, 2011
Repsol drilling pushed back to August - company awaiting rig from Suriname
Guyana Times

Repsol Guyana Incorporated, which was expected to start drilling for oil and gas on the off- shore Guyana Basin in May, has delayed its operations until August.

This is according to Petroleum Manager of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Newell Dennison, who said that the drill rig which is to be used for the operation is in Suriname.

Dennison explained that the company has not completed its obligations in that country. The GGMC official told Guyana Times that Repsol had plans of beginning operations this month, but because of the current situation, those plans were delayed until such time.

Dennison explained that Repsol is operating under a consortium and is obligated to complete the job in Suriname.

He pointed out, too, that wells are still being drilled in that country, as related by a company official.

“Another reason, too, is based on the size of the well that is going to be drilled off-shore Guyana … that will be huge, and because of its depth, the company has no choice but to wait on that rig, since it is the only one in this part of the world for such an operation that will be done off- shore Guyana,” he stated.

According to him, the drilling in Suriname should be wrapping up in a few weeks, and this should allow the operator enough time to transport the rig to Guyana. Dennison related that Repsol is eager to begin operations here, and is looking forward to a successful find.

The Spanish-based oil company opened office in Guyana on November 19 last year. It will be drilling a vertical exploratory well called “Jaguar One”. The site is located some 130 km northeast of the nearest shoreline, in the vicinity of Port Mourant, and 160 km east- northeast of the capital city.

The drilling will be carried out by the Atwood Beacon, that will reach a depth of 21,485 feet and will take around six months to be completed.

In January of this year, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, who has responsibility for the energy sector, had expressed his optimism in oil exploration to be undertaken in Guyana.

While pointing out that Guyana is only at the intiatial stage of exploring possibilities of finding oil and gas, he said, “Guyanese must understand that while there may be hope for massive oil discoveries in Guyana, there are no assurances”. He noted, too, that if there are successful findings as predicted, government would be ready to set up a legacy fund to save the resources gained from this sector.

The prime minister also pointed out that if such is to occur, it will create great opportunities for all Guyanese.

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