By month end, the Energy Department is hoping that the review of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act can be completed as well as a gap analysis of existing legislation.
Once this is done, Energy Department Head, Dr. Mark Bynoe explained to members of the media yesterday that this will pave the way for the Department to move to the next phase of drafting replacement and/or supplementary legislation.
During his first press conference for the year, held at the Ministry of the Presidency, Dr. Bynoe said it is the expectation that once the aforementioned is completed, the Department would be in a position to engage in another licensing round which is scheduled for the first quarter of 2020.
The official said that this is likely to be an open bid round. He said, too, that the completion of a best practices template for future Production Sharing Agreements is also one of the factors influencing the push for another licensing round. Dr. Bynoe said that the bid round would most obviously be for the “ultra-deep” area known as Block C.
He said, too, that there is considerable interest in that area but declined to state at this point, where that “interest” is coming from. In the meantime, Dr. Bynoe noted that with Exxon’s success in the Stabroek Block, a number of other oil firms are poised for accelerated drilling in 2019.
The Energy Department Head said, “Based on indications from other operators, we expect one field to be drilled in the Orinduik Block by Tullow, one more in the Kanuku Block by Repsol and another in the Corentyne Block by CGX, with the latter two using what is popularly known as jack-ups.”
Further to this, Dr. Bynoe added, “We are also aiming to conduct a multi-client seismic survey for data packages to encourage greater interest in the continental shelf zone. This survey will be tendered, as have all other recruitment that the Department of Energy has engaged.”