The Executive Chairman of the Canadian oil and gas exploration company, CGX Energy, Suresh Narine yesterday stated, that some eight to ten international studies have shown that Crab Island, located on the bank of the Berbice River, is the most strategic location for a deep water port and the company is embarking on major works there.
According to Narine, the location’s proximity to Suriname is also very strategic because “there is tremendous exploration going on in Suriname”.
CGX has some 900 metres of frontage of which some 200 metres has already been cleared out at Crab Island. It is clearly lobbying for the siting of Guyana’s first deep water harbour there. According to Narine, “We have already done the overburdens and vertical drains etc”. He noted, that the company now has a “substantial bid out to do a breakwater along the entire seashore”. He explained, “Here is where we would create a platform into the Berbice River to catch the channel now”.
He stressed that the first phase of the project is expected to take some 18 months.
“You would have out here: fuel, mud, decanting capacity, pipeline capacity, tank storage capacity as well as dry docks”, he said. Narine also stressed that it will be a complete facility that has the necessary space.
He explained that presently the overall basic project which has not commenced as yet is expected to take three years. “It’s a three-year massive build out and between US$180M to US$200M of additional capital expenditure”, he said.
He added, “That may change depending on if additional partners come on board but the current design of the project is between that cost, the revetment alone is around $100M Guyana, it is expensive but the returns and investments are good and of course the impact is a lasting one”.
He further noted that the necessary permits which are required for such a facility to be in operation are already in place, “even (permits) down to drilling water wells”. Narine stressed, that the company is excited that the discovery is fueling the expansion.
The government has not said where it contemplates building a long-planned deep water harbour.
Narine further stated that in addition to the oil and gas sector, Region Six and Five also produce bauxite and 65% of the country’s rice.
If that produce left from the deep water harbour in Berbice as opposed to Georgetown it would ease congestion in the capital city’s port.
Narine said that the company would be happy to provide services to US oil company ExxonMobil if it comes to them but he stressed that their investment is not based solely on ExxonMobil.
“We can’t say that we are only building because of … Exxon…(we are building) because of the amount of exploration that has to be done in the (Guyana-Suriname) basin, because of the fact that we anticipate that not only Exxon will have commercial (oil) finds, because we anticipate traffic from across the border in terms of shipping and because of the existing business in the agro sector”.
Narine also pointed out that come next year CGX will be drilling and they do not anticipate that their facility would be ready then. As such their staging area will off the GuySuCo wharf.
“CGX alone has to drill five wells, the savings that we will receive from using our own facility is tremendous”, he said.
Students who are a part of the Ministry of Natural Resources’ Youth in Natural Resources Apprenticeship Programme were given an opportunity to tour the CGX Logistics Yard and port site. The students who hail from the various regions throughout Guyana were eager to learn and had many questions for Narine.