LatinNews Daily - 14 September 2023

In brief: Guyana’s Ali hails bids received for oil and gas blocks

*Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali has stated he is not disappointed about the number of bids received for the country’s competitive offshore oil and gas licensing round, which includes 14 oil blocks offshore Guyana. Responding to questions posed by US journalists during an event yesterday in Washington DC, he said: “We went to this market for 14 blocks and we got a response for eight blocks. We are very happy.” The government launched the first-ever competitive offshore oil and gas licensing round in December 2022 with an April 2023 deadline. However, it was extended to June, July, and then September as the administration moved to “advance the sector regulatory framework to ensure accountability and transparency”, according to a statement by the department for public information (DPI). According to the same statement, of the 14 blocks, ranging from acreages of 1,000km2 to 3,000km2, 11 are located in shallow water, while the remaining three can be found in ultra-deep water. The government will now move to publish the complete details of the submissions for the auction in the Official Gazette. The statement did not provide the names of groups to have submitted bids but Reuters is reporting that these include, among others, US oil giant Exxon Mobil, US firm Hess, and China’s China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), who bid as a group, and cites a government document listing a separate consortium with French multinational TotalEnergies, Qatar Energy and Malaysia’s Petronas. Guyana has drawn major international interest since the discovery of offshore oil in 2015.

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