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April 01, 2013
Oil companies for more seismic surveys this year - Singh
Stabroek News

Despite setbacks last year, oil exploration companies are to carry out seismic surveys this year, according to Minister of Finance Ashni Singh.

In his budget presentation on Monday, Singh said that exploration operations are expected to continue with 3D seismic surveys by Esso, Repsol and CGX.

He stated that several new licenses "should be issued" as companies move from "dated tenure arrangements so that their operational focus would be maintained." 

He said that recognising the potential for Guyana to move from exploration to discovery and production, Government is actively considering the required policy and institutional frameworks that will  need to be in place.

These frameworks he said, will tackle environmental considerations, contract management and administration, sustainable management of oil revenues, and enhancing competitiveness in non-oil sectors.

Reflecting on 2012, Singh told the National Assembly, that although, the drilling of exploration wells offshore in the prospecting areas licensed to Repsol and others was terminated out of caution, there were encouraging indications of petroleum.

He noted that a test well drilled by CGX Resources incorporated to the total planned depth was "not as favourable as anticipated."  Two dry wells for CGX left it with a big debt which has forced it into restructuring.

Singh said that the acquisition of new marine 3D data by CGG Veritas within the prospecting area licensed to Esso/Shell began in November 2012 and new petroleum prospecting licenses and or renewals were granted for further work in several locations including the Takutu Basin, the deepwater Stabroek Block and the Corentyne Block.

Singh said that Repsol is also pursuing its continued interest in the Georgetown Block and the transitioning to a new licence and agreement were at a very advanced stage at the end of last year.

He noted that work was also sustained in the Berbice River at Grand Canal where wharf and terminal facilities were being constructed for use in petroleum operations logistics.

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