Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo has addressed inquiries regarding the status of the prospecting licence for the Kanuku block, overseen by Spanish oil company Repsol. During his customary weekly press conference, Jagdeo responded to questions from reporters, expressing his lack of awareness regarding the licence’s expiration.
Jagdeo clarified that the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) maintains a comprehensive record and timeline encompassing all exploration and drilling endeavors. According to this schedule, no company, apart from CGX, has thus far encountered the termination or depletion of their entire prospecting licence.
The Petroleum Agreement, inked on May 14, 2013, between the Guyanese government and Repsol as the operator, remains a pivotal reference. Typically spanning a decade, each petroleum agreement consists of multiple phases with potential for renewals or non-renewals. As per the stipulated terms, Repsol’s prospecting license should have lapsed in May 2023. Nonetheless, Jagdeo expressed his unfamiliarity with this development, underscoring the necessity for confirmation via GGMC.
Significantly, even with a May 12, 2016 amendment, the ten-year eligibility of the license retained its validity.
Jagdeo also fielded queries concerning Tullow Oil Inc., the former operator of the Orinduik block. Tullow recently relinquished its stake to Eco-Atlantic Oil & Gas Ltd., a prominent offshore oil and gas exploration company. Eco-Atlantic has secured a 60% operating stake in the offshore Guyanese Orinduik Block from Tullow Guyana B.V. which is a subsidiary of Tullow Oil Plc.
In response, Jagdeo acknowledged his awareness of this recent development through informal channels. However, he emphasized that the government requires official notification from the company, as government approval remains a prerequisite. The shift in ownership necessitates formal authorization to take effect.