Two petroleum companies to begin drilling this year

Two petroleum exploration companies with blocks onshore have indicated that they would like to start drilling this year, says Petroleum Manager of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) Newell Dennison.

The two companies are Groundstar Resources Limi-ted and Sadhna Petroleum. Groundstar has been operating a 9800 square kilometre Petroleum Prospecting Lic-ence in the Takutu basin of Guyana since July 2005. Sadhna, a Trinidadian exploration and drilling company which, with Groundstar signed agreements with the Government of Guyana in 2006 for the exploration for petroleum products and for the sharing of returns if the findings were in commercially viable quantities, has operations in the Mahaica/Mahaicony area.

Dennison told Stabroek News that Groundstar had commenced preparatory work for drilling at a site identified in the Takutu basin and this would involve clearing the site and putting in reinforcements at the site “in anticipation of drilling.” The Petroleum Manager’s statement follows Prime Minister Samuel Hinds’s remarks earlier this month that Groundstar had started prospecting in the Takutu basin and the company intended to drill two wells, one of which was likely to begin this year.

Meantime, Sadhna has said that it would like to commence drilling in the new year. “Sadhna has indicated that it will drill once the weather conditions improve,” Dennison stated. The Mahaica/Mahaicony area is currently in the midst of a heavy rainy season.

Dennison noted that between July and this month, there had been a lot of activity in the GGMC’s “petroleum scenario.” He said that Esso had very recently completed its 2D seismic survey in the company’s  Stabroek block while Repsol YPF in partnership with CGX Energy Inc were currently engaged in acquiring 3D seismic data in YPF’s Georgetown block. He stated that it would be another two weeks before this was completed.  The three companies have blocks offshore.

CGX, the Canadian-based oil and gas exploration company in October had commenced its 3D seismic programme on its 536 square kilometer, 100 per cent-held Corentyne Petroleum Prospecting Licence (PPL). The company had announced at the time that it was participating with YPF Guyana Ltd, a subsidiary of Repsol YPF, in a 1,650 square kilometre 3D programme on the adjoining Georgetown PPL, in which CGX holds a 25% interest.

The 3D marine-seismic programme was being undertaken by Fugro-GeoTeam using its seismic vessel R/V GeoPacific. Earlier this month, CGX announced that the shooting of the 3D seismic survey on its Corentyne PPL had been completed.  In the Georgetown PPL the survey was expanded by 200 sq km to 1,850 sq km the company had announced in a press release, which added that the Georgetown survey had been shot in parallel with the Corentyne and was expected to be completed after the New Year. Dennison noted that regardless of whether drilling would be done, the data acquisition was necessary but at the end of the day, other factors would have to be taken into consideration such as risk and cost. He stated that this was part of the programme that was guiding the companies towards eventually making the decision as to whether they would drill or not. He said that it was lucky that the vessel happened to be in the area hence the process had commenced.

It was noted that following the acquisition of the data, it would have to be processed then interpreted and analyzed, and this was a process that could take months before any decision with regards to drilling could be made.

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