The Guyana Government is expected to establish a National Gas Strategy that would look into the many variables as those relate to utilising the gas resources, and among the options that will be considered is the possible collaboration with neighbouring Suriname.
This is according to Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo during a press conference on Thursday.
In the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, United States oil-giant ExxonMobil and its co-venturers have found some 17 trillion cubic feet of gas; that is: about a quarter of the 11 billion barrels of oil-equivalent. The Pluma and Haimara discoveries are proven gas fields.
Exxon had said previously that significant discoveries were made further to the south-east towards the Suriname border, where there is a higher gas content in the fields that they have developed so far.
VP Jagdeo said that with similar gas discoveries made offshore the Dutch-speaking nation, there is greater possibility for the two South American neighbours to pool resources for a joint gas development.
“In some areas, like Pluma, more gas was found there [and] less oil. Right across the border in Suriname, they have discovered some gas fields. [So, we’re] looking at the possibility of joint development – all of that will be part of the study [for a National Gas Strategy],” Jagdeo told reporters.
There has been significant gas discovery in Block 58 off the coast of Suriname.
President Dr Irfaan Ali has already been talking about establishing an energy corridor between Guyana and its two surrounding neighbours, Suriname and Brazil. In fact, the three nations have already held several discussions on combining their ability to create an energy corridor and unlock the potential for a series of manufacturing and industrial development.
However, those talks had featured Suriname’s President Chandrikapersad Santohki, and former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who was voted out of office in December 2022. His successor, current Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and President Ali are expected to meet in the new week to discuss a wide range of issues, including energy.
The Guyana Government has already declared its intention to monetise its largely untapped gas resources found offshore, which it said would help to open up new opportunities for trade and energy security between Guyana and its bilateral partners.
The National Gas Strategy, which is expected to be done later this year, will guide the best way possible to do this.
According to Jagdeo, once the ongoing oil block auction and the new model Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) are completed, Government’s attention will be turned to establishing this gas plan.
The strategy will examine, among other things, the type of gas found, the economics of getting it out, the market, and also verifying whether anything else can replace the gas to maintain the reservoirs. Currently, Exxon reinjects the gas in order to maintain the pressure of producing oil wells.
“We’re trying, from the utilisation of these resources, to maximise its value to the country. So that is why we’re looking at, if the gas can be converted to fertilizer or LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) and export it… We have to still examine the economics of it – what products you can use the gas for. For example, the gas, when cleaned here, will produce propane, it will produce LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas). We can sell those – the liquids. Then we can use the gas for fertilizer, we can use the gas for basalt fibre – we’re thinking about that and a whole range of [other usage] for the gas, such as to generate more power for other industries. You can use it in cosmetics and in so many other ways,” the Vice President noted.
The Guyana Government has already requested Exxon to prepare a utilisation plan this year for developing its gas discoveries.
Currently, the Ali-led People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration is pursuing its model Gas-to-Energy project, which includes the construction of an integrated Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) plant and a 300-megawatt (MW) combined cycle power plant at Wales, West Bank Demerara (WBD).
The multi-billion-dollar transformational project will see gas being piped from the Liza Field in the Stabroek Block to onshore at Wales via pipelines that will be procured, installed, and operated by Exxon to the tune of US$1 billion.
Based on studies conducted, ExxonMobil would be able to produce up to 50 million cubic feet of gas per day for this initiative without impacting oil production activities offshore.