Govt selects potential partner to monetize gas resources – VP Jagdeo

– will enter tripartite agreement once Cabinet approval granted

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo

The Guyana Government is moving at full steam to monetize the country’s gas resources, and Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has disclosed that a company has already been shortlisted as a potential investment partner.
In making this disclosure during his most recent press conference, Jagdeo indicated that once Cabinet approves the company, the next step would be tripartite engagement between the selected firm, Government, and oil major ExxonMobil on a potential project to monetize the gas.
“I told you about the gas strategy. The discussion paper that went out, we need to finalize that; and that’s work the Ministry has ongoing. Through a consultant, they will finalize that. Parallel to that, we tested the market. We went out for Expressions of Interest. They’ve had some really good, strong firms with good credentials, so they’ve selected a company now, the evaluators, and I think it may have gone to the cabinet. I’m not sure if it has gone to the cabinet. So that company now will have to sit down with Exxon,” he explained.
“Now, parallel to that, we had some discussions with Exxon. What I reported, and we said, (is): if you’re not moving forward, you gotta relinquish. So, they now did some studies, and they said we believe we may be able to move forward with a project. So, I explained to you in the past that once we select this company, it will be a tripartite engagement with Exxon, the selected company and the Government of Guyana; and we have to work on a project to monetize the gas,”
He detailed.
Also of note is the fact that, according to Jagdeo, Guyana has already attracted interest from firms with very deep pockets, who are interested in Guyana’s gas potential. According to him, as much as US$15 billion would be needed to make the Gas Monetization Strategy effective.
“They said, ‘We believe there’s a viable project, and we wanna work on it’. And there’s a big, very powerful firm that can find the US$10 billion to US$15 billion that you would need to invest in that strategy. When I say US$10 billion to US$15 billion, that’s about twice as much as our total savings gathered in Guyana in the banking system. So, it’s a lot of money,” he explained.
That being said, the Vice President noted that ExxonMobil is doing additional work to understand the quantity of gas and further prove the reserves. This is in reference to recent reports that ExxonMobil has plans to do exploratory drilling in its Haimara 3 and 4 gas wells in the Stabroek Block.
With this drive to push gas development, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government has already informed ExxonMobil that it would have to relinquish the gas fields if it doesn’t seek to develop the gas.
“They have a crude estimate of what the amount of associated gas (is), which was about 16 trillion cubic feet, I think, sometime back. But that has not shifted much, just like the 11 billion (barrels of estimated oil reserves). So, they need to do more probing. But that doesn’t…Our position holds: If they don’t wanna go forward with a project on this, and others may be willing to do it on their own, they’d have to relinquish it. We can’t have this lost opportunity here,” Jagdeo explained.
He added that Exxon’s upcoming relinquishment of 20 per cent of the Stabroek Block in October may very well include the areas with gas potential.
It was revealed recently that ExxonMobil’s drill programme for Guyana for this year and beyond includes plans to further appraise the Haimara 3 and 4 well sites in order to gauge the commercial potential for gas in the Haimara gas field.
Back in 2019 and 2023, oil giant ExxonMobil drilled for gas at the Haimara-1 and 2 wells, and emerged with varying degrees of success. In the Stabroek Block, some 17 trillion cubic feet of gas has already been found, with the Pluma and Haimara wells being proven gas fields. The Government is seeking to develop this gas. One way it is doing this is by the Gas-to-Energy Project, which is pegged at more than US$1 billion.
Back in October, the Government had released the draft National Gas Monetization Strategy to the public for their feedback. The aim was to work on finalizing the strategy while simultaneously getting comments from the public, thus saving time.
The Government has already made it clear that its goal is to find the best option going forward in order to monetize its gas resources. The Government has already said that a large number of comments has been received on the strategy.