CGX names exploration well ‘Utakwaaka’ in honour of Indigenous people

The Aleluya Indigenous Religion group blessing CGX Energy Inc’s latest exploration well ‘Utakwaaka’
The Aleluya Indigenous Religion group blessing CGX Energy Inc’s latest exploration well ‘Utakwaaka’

CGX Energy Incorporated announced its next exploration well with an Indigenous naming and blessing ceremony by the historic Aleluya Indigenous Group.

The ceremony, a collaboration between CGX and the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, was held on Friday at the Umana Yana in the presence of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge, who is also currently performing the duties of Prime Minister, and Ministers of Government and other guests.

CGX Energy Incorporated’s latest exploration well, which was named ‘Utakwaaka’, is expected to be drilled in November 2019 in the company’s Corentyne Block offshore Guyana. Executive Chairman of CGX, Professor Suresh Narine noted, giving the well an Indigenous name is a departure from the norm in the oil industry.

“[It is] to pay homage to and take strength, sustenance and blessing from the wealth spring of spirituality and philosophy of our indigenous peoples.”

Traditionally, wells are named by the geologists who select the location.

Minister Greenidge noted that many Guyanese are proud of CGX for the work it has done in the country and its determination and resilience in exploration in the oil and gas industry.

“What we have achieved now … is in no small measure to the persistence of CGX itself in working with Guyanese, its technicians, investors to ensure that notwithstanding the disappointments … today we can celebrate.”

The naming of the well coincided with the company’s 20th anniversary. Professor Narine said it is important to CGX Energy Incorporated that the resource it is exploiting is used to enhance “that which we hold valuable rather than let it in itself define value to us”.

Utakwaaka, a Phillipai word, means the dawn of a new day, a ray of light a ray of hope, Ovid Williams of the Aleluya Group explained. The Aleluya Indigenous Religion is considered one of the oldest known and only practising Indigenous religion in Guyana.

The group is made up of Indigenous people from the Phillipai and Amokokopai villages located in the Upper Mazaruni, Region Seven.

Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock noted, partnership is important and commended CGX for its collaboration. “This is a significant step for the oil sector and the indigenous people of Guyana. It is in recognition of this intricate relationship shared with the indigenous people of Guyana and the natural environment and resources.”



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