Guyana’s first ever oil blocks auction closed on Tuesday and though bids were received for eight of 14 oil blocks, President Dr. Irfaan Ali said his government is still exploring the direct award of blocks to India, Qatar and the Dominican Republic.
“There are many countries that have expressed a preference for government-to-government exploration and relationships on this issue.
“India expressed an interest to work government-to-government,” the President said during an Inter-American Dialogue conversation in Washington DC.
He added that Qatar and the Dominican Republic are also countries keen on partnering with Guyana to explore and develop oil blocks offshore.
For months, Guyana’s government has been touting the possibility of awarding blocks directly to bilateral partners. India, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are among the countries that have expressed an interest in this arrangement.
In March, Guyana’s Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo explained that government’s decision to award blocks directly would be based on mutual benefits and profit sharing.
Though he didn’t say when Guyana could consider those bilateral partnerships, President Ali highlighted that his government wanted to first auction the existing blocks in an “open and transparent” process.
And he believes it was a “tremendous accomplishment” that Guyana managed to attract eight bids because of prevailing financial conditions.
A total of 14 oil blocks were up for grabs – 11 in shallow water and three in deep water.
The companies which put in bids are:
- ExxonMobil, which already has the giant Stabroek Block
- SISPRO INC (Guyana), headed by Guyanese businesswomen
- Total Energies EP Guyana BV; Qatar Energy International E&P LLC; Petronas E&P Overseas Ventures SDN BHD (Malaysia)
- Delcorp Inc Guyana and Watad Energy and Arabian Drillers of Saudi Arabia
- 5.Liberty Petroleum Corporation of the US and Ghana-based Cybele Energy Limited
- International Group Investment Inc and Montego Energy SA (London)