(Reuters, 13.Sep.2023) — Guyana has received offers for eight of 14 offshore oil and gas blocks in a bidding round, including from consortiums of oil majors like Exxon Mobil, Hess Corp and TotalEnergies, the government and documents seen by Reuters showed on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Natural Resources confirmed that Exxon, Hess and China’s CNOOC had bid as a consortium, while a government document also listed a consortium of TotalEnergies, Qatar Energy and Malaysia’s Petronas as a bidder.
A consortium formed by Delcorp, Watad Energy and Arabian Drillers and another by Liberty Petroleum and Cybele Energy also bid, as did a consortium of International Group Investment and Montego Energy, the document showed. Sispro submitted an offer by itself.
“We went to this market with 14 blocks and we got response for eight blocks. We are very happy,” said President Irfaan Ali during an event in Washington organized by the Inter-American Dialogue on Wednesday, adding many countries were not getting responses to oil auctions in the current market.
Exxon, Hess and TotalEnergies did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
Exxon already has productive oil projects in Guyana.
The South American country wants to quickly expand its oil industry and recruit a wider range of developers to counterbalance an Exxon-led consortium that controls all production.
Guyana is currently producing and exporting about 380,000 barrels per day (bpd) or equivalent of crude and gas, making it Latin America’s seventh-largest producer. The Exxon consortium aims at reaching 1.2 million bpd of output by 2027.
TotalEnergies said on Wednesday it will begin studies for developing a large oil project in neighboring Suriname’s most promising offshore area, adjacent to Exxon’s Guyanese Stabroek block, amid a visit by its CEO Patrick Pouyanne to the country.
Guyana has repeatedly delayed the 14-block tender.
Reporting by Kiana Wilburg in Georgetown and Marianna Parraga in Houston; Additional reporting by Sabrina Valle and Gary McWilliams in Houston, and Forrest Crellin in Paris; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by David Holmes