By Svetlana Marshall
President of ExxonMobil Guyana, Alistair Routledge today said moves by Guyana to strengthen its bilateral relationship with countries such as the United States in the area of defense and security augurs well not only for the country, but also for the entire western hemisphere, as it takes up its place as a global player in the Oil and Gas Industry.
“I think the collaboration we are seeing for Guyana with other countries on the military front and also on the diplomatic and economic front reflects that. So, I think it is a healthy thing, I think it is good for the western hemisphere that we see that kind of cooperations and hopefully, it will continue,” Routledge said.
Mr. Routledge, noted however that the border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela remains concerning. Venezuela lays claim to Guyana’s resource rich Essequibo region. The border controversy was settled since 1899, but recently Venezuela hosted a referendum that not only reignited its claims to the Essequibo but also revealed plans that could threaten the operations in the oil sector.
The Exxon President said when the situation became tense recently with Venezuela stepping up its claims, his company was forced to spend time on the ground with global insurance and financing companies, as well as politicians in the US, to educate them on the geography of the country, and the 1899 Arbitral Award.
He said that move helped to “calm the nerves” of many around the world, and as such, there would be no substantial changes to the insurance of operations here.
“We will continue to see the investment coming towards the country but like all things, the more uncertainty and risk there is, the more it creates that tension but thankfully, it is under control,” Routledge said.
He said Exxon is pleased that the two countries reached an agreement during the Argyle talks in St. Vincent, but made it clear that Exxon was comforted in the fact that its contract with the Government of Guyana is valid not just under the laws of Guyana, but also under international laws, and therefore, it has every right to operate in the Stabroek Block.
“We remain committed to Guyana and pursuing business here and delivering on commitments that we made,” he assured.
It was revealed that the operators of the Stabroek Block have invested just over US$29 Billion into oil developments here in Guyana.
“On a total basis, we have invested in real numbers US$29B here in Guyana to date. I said we because that’s ExxonMobil, HESS and CNOOC collectively, financed US$29B of investment in the country. That covers all the capital works but also operational expenses associated with running the facilities. Of the US$29B, we have recovered about US$19B to date since the start of operations. So, what is remaining, simple math, 29 minus 19 is US$10B of outstanding costs in the Stabroek Block,” the ExxonMobil Guyana President detailed
The Exxon President said Guyanese can expect even more investments as the company works to finalize its 6th project here with the Government.
It was noted that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Field Development Plan for the Whiptail Project has already been submitted. It is hoped that the company will soon be able to acquire the Environmental Permit and Production License for that operation, which would see a production of 250,000 barrels of oil per day starting 2027.
Currently, with three oil production vessels – Liza Unity, Liza Destiny and Prosperity – in operation, the company is producing approximately 645,000 barrels of oil per day.
It is hoped by the end of 2024, it would be able to achieve a total production of 500 million barrels cumulatively, since the start of production in 2019.