APA Corporation has announced an oil discovery offshore Suriname at Baja-1 in Block 53. The company also provided an update on recent drilling operations at Dikkop-1 in Block 58.

Block 53

Baja-1 was drilled to a depth of 5,290 meters (17,356 feet) and encountered 34 meters (112 feet) of net oil pay in a single interval within the Campanian. Preliminary fluid and log analysis indicates light oil with a gas-oil ratio (GOR) of 1,600 to 2,200 standard cubic feet per barrel, in good quality reservoir. The discovery at Baja-1 is a down-dip lobe of the same depositional system as the Krabdagu discovery, 11.5 kilometers to the west in Block 58. Evaluation of open-hole well logs, cores and reservoir fluids is ongoing.

“Our success at Baja marks the 6th oil discovery we have participated in offshore Suriname, and the first on Block 53,” said John J. Christmann, APA CEO and president. “This result confirms our geologic model for the Campanian in the area and helps to de-risk other prospects in the southern portion of both Blocks 53 and 58.”

APA recently received regulatory approval regarding an amendment to the Block 53 Production Sharing Contract (PSC), which provides options to extend the exploration period of the PSC by up to four years. The company is currently progressing the formalization of the election of the first one-year extension, for which all work commitments are complete.

APA is operator and holds a 45% working interest in Block 53, with Petronas holding a 30% working interest and CEPSA holding a 25% working interest. Baja-1 was drilled using the Noble Gerry de Souza in water depths of approximately 1,140 meters (3,740 feet). The drillship will mobilize to Block 58 following the completion of current operations, where it will drill the Awari exploration prospect, approximately 27 kilometers (north) of the Maka Central discovery.

Block 58

APA also announced that operations have concluded on the Dikkop exploration well in Block 58. The well encountered water-bearing sandstones in the targeted interval and has been plugged and abandoned. TotalEnergies is the operator with a 50% working interest, and APA holds the remaining 50% working interest. The drillship Maersk Valiant will be moving to the Sapakara field to drill a second appraisal well at Sapakara South, where the joint venture conducted a successful flow test late last year.

Guyana’s women can play key role in meeting 53,000 labour gap – CLBD Director

May 28, 2024

To support the substantial growth taking place across Guyana’s industries including agriculture, construction, and oil and gas, authorities must find at least 53,000 new workers. To bridge this labour gap, Director of the Centre for Local Business Development (CLBD), Dr. Natasha Gaskin-Peters said there are a multiplicity of positive outcomes to be had by harnessing the potential of women towards this cause.

During an interview on the Energy Perspectives Podcast, a programme powered by the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo, Dr. Gaskin-Peters acknowledged the government’s intention to import skills. To complement this approach, as well as other initiatives geared at upskilling the populace, she believes women ought to be targeted to help support the nation’s labour needs.

Expounding on the growing demand for labour, Dr. Gaskin-Peters shared that this subject was explored in depth via a 2023 study. That exercise was executed by the CLDB in collaboration with the University of Guyana (UG) and other agencies. It was funded by the Greater Guyana Initiative (GGI), a  GY$20 Billion commitment (US $100 Million) by Stabroek Block partners, ExxonMobil, Hess and CNOOC, for capacity-building initiatives over a period of 10 years.

“That survey we did states that we need over 53,000 new workers and that is across only five sectors and there are 22 in the economy. So, there is definitely a need for importing skilled talent,” said Dr. Gaskin-Peters, adding that it was also one of the overarching recommendations in the 2023 study.

The report also urged authorities to establish a Labour Market Information System (LMIS) to improve data analysis; improve the quality of TVET courses for high-demand trades; and introduce one year pre-university bridging programmes in science and math to allow more students to qualify for degree programmes.

In addition to the foregoing, the CLBD Director stressed the need for authorities to implement policies that integrate more women into the workforce. To help women, particularly those with children, she said consideration can be given to policies on childcare while women tend to their jobs. “…Government has started some initiatives in training and childcare support services but broadening those would be ideal,” said the economist.

From the Centre’s perspective, she said support is offered through its AccelerateHer programme. This initiative offers participants the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of marketing and building their business.

“…This programme has really mentored women and I find sometimes women can be challenged as it pertains to their confidence and public speaking and that programme really helps them with how you pitch your business, how you market, and giving them that sense of aggression within the business community. You see these women flourish after the programme…,” the economist shared.

By leveraging the potential of women, Dr. Gaskin-Peters believes that the country can not only address labour shortages, but also promote gender equality while striving for a more inclusive and resilient economy.

Guyana empowered to ensure coverage of all oil spill costs beyond Exxon’s US$2B parent company guarantee – EPA Head

Jun 04, 2024

By Kiana Wilburg, CEO at Guyana Energy Conference & Supply Chain Expo

While an ExxonMobil-consortium in the Stabroek block has furnished Guyana with a US$2 billion parent company guarantee for oil spills, as well as a US$600 million insurance package, authorities are empowered to ensure all liabilities beyond these are covered.

This was recently noted by Head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Kemraj Parsram during his appearance on the Energy Perspectives podcast, a programme powered by the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo.

According to Parsram, the Environmental Protection Act is clear about full liability.

“In the words of the Act, it is ‘strict liability.’ What that means is that if you are a permit holder, you are fully responsible and fully liable for any pollution that you cause and that does not have to be proven.”

Expounding on how this translates to securitization, the EPA head said an estimate had to be arrived at, as per the conditions of the law. In this regard, the EPA reviewed guidelines used by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) as well as authorities in the United Kingdom, USA and Canada.

Parsram said international guidelines require conducting an exercise to arrive at an estimate of the reasonable credible cost of an oil spill. This would then be used as a guide on what the parent company guarantee would be, hence US$2 billion was arrived at for the Stabroek block.

“Now please note that the US$2 billion is the floor. With increasing developments, that estimate can go up. So, it is not the ceiling, it is the floor. Now, let’s say we find the cost is more, there is a clause that says the EPA and the guarantor can negotiate fulfilling that. But irrespective, the polluter stands the full cost,” the EPA head emphasised.

He was also keen to note that the EPA requires ExxonMobil and its partners – Hess and CNOOC – to provide authorities with an annual declaration of their liquidity. This ensures that at all times, the regulator is aware that the companies can cover their liabilities.

As an added layer of protection, he said ExxonMobil and its partners are required to keep a capping stack in country. This device is critical as it stops or redirects the flow of hydrocarbons, buying engineers time to seal the well permanently. ExxonMobil is also required to maintain a subscription to another. Further to this, Parsram said inspections are done on ExxonMobil’s blowout preventers to always ensure their integrity.

On the reporting side, he said there is a requirement for environmental effects monitoring. In this regard, he said ExxonMobil must monitor the effects of its discharges and emissions on water quality and biodiversity.

Overall, he said these are some of the key mechanisms in place to protect Guyana, and which also lend to the EPA’s goal of becoming a world-class regulator.

SBM signs new MOU with Exxon

Nov 09, 2022

SBM continues its relationship with ExxonMobil through the signing of a new MOU.

SBM Offshore has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ExxonMobil Guyana for construction of a multi-purpose floater hull for use on a future floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) project.

ExxonMobil and SBM Offshore have a long history of working together, with multiple FPSO projects underway.

Exxon has previously indicated that at least six FPSOs will be in service by 2027. They have also signaled that the resource base in Guyana has the potential to support up to 10 FPSOs.


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