President extends Repsol licence to drill Jaguar well

President Bharrat Jagdeo has granted an extension to the deadline for drilling the Jaguar-1 well offshore Guyana to Repsol and the main partners in the joint venture drilling project.

In a press release CGX said the parties to the Georgetown Petroleum Prospecting Licence are Repsol Exploracion SA (15%) (Repsol) being the operator, along with YPF Guyana Limited (30%), Tullow Guyana BV (30%) and CGX Resources Inc (25%).

Director of Exploration in Latin America Joseba Murillas and a delegation comprising head of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission Newell Dennison the CEO of London-based company Tullow Oil and CGX  made the request on the grounds that the Atwood Beacon jack-up rig currently drilling for another operator offshore Suriname has been significantly delayed. This rig is expected to drill the Jaguar well before year-end. There have been several delays in the drilling of this well.

According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release Murillas said that the company is in full gear to drill as personnel and equipment are already in Guyana and 95 per cent of the contracts are in place. The company has already invested US$40M and has committed more than $100M for the project which is estimated to cost over $150M. “We are very optimistic of our chances. It’s a frontier basin so anything could happen,” Murillas said, pointing to the encouraging news of a recent discovery made in the French Guiana basin.

According to GINA, on September 9, the Shell-Tullow oil joint venture confirmed an oil discovery in the Guyane Maritime permit approximately 150-kilomtres offshore French Guiana. Guyana is considered the second most attractive under-explored basin in the world with a potential of 15.2 billion barrels of oil. A discovery here is expected to produce about 50 million barrels per year. Government is expected to get a cash flow of 53 per cent, and the oil company 43 per cent.

CGX has been keen on drilling in this offshore area since 2000 but was thwarted by Surinamese gunboats in June of that year. This led to protracted negotiations between Guyana and Suriname which yielded nothing. Guyana gained the upper hand in the matter following a ruling by the Law of the Sea tribunal in 2007. Four years later this particular well is still to be drilled.

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