Tullow confident of shore base operations in Guyana by 2020

Tullow’s head of Communications, George Cazenove
Tullow’s head of Communications, George Cazenove

By Jarryl Bryan

British oil company Tullow, fresh off two oil finds in Orinduik oil block, is eyeing the transfer of its shore base operations from Trinidad to Guyana by 2020, after which it will run all its drilling programmes for next year from its local base.

This was explained to INews by head of communications in Tullow Guyana, George Cazenove, during an interview on Wednesday. Cazenove noted that they are perusing various sites, though the eventual selection of one is dependent on various factors.

“We’re still looking for a shore base. We’re very confident that we will get a shore base in Guyana for our 2020 drilling campaign, something we’re committed to. And I fully expect we’ll be running all our 2020 wells from Guyana,” Cazenove said.

He was also asked about what Guyana could expect from Tullow moving its operation to local shores, particularly regarding local content. Cazenove cited Tullow’s track record in other countries where its worked as an example of its potential local content commitment.

Cazenove warned, however, that in the exploration phase such a supply chain will be limited. However, he noted that as Tullow moves closer to potential development and production, those opportunities will expand.

At present, Tullow has made at least two oil finds; in its Jethro and Joe wells. On September 16, the same day that Exxon Mobil announced its 14th oil find, Tullow also revealed that it had made its second oil find in just a matter of weeks; the discovery of 14 metres of oil reservoirs at the Joe well.

After the find, Tullow’s exploration Director Angus McCoss had noted that the discovery increases the potential in the Orinduik block. He had also alluded to the block having multibillion barrel potential.

The Orinduik oil block is just a few kilometres from Exxon’s discoveries in the Liza and Payara fields. It is under the administration of Eco Guyana and Tullow, who signed a 10-year Petroleum Prospecting licence and Production Sharing Agreement with Guyana in 2016. French firm Total E&P Activities Petrolieres entered the fray in 2017, partnering with Eco with the option to get a 25 per cent share in the block.

To service equipment, facilitate traffic and allow for the easy supply of necessities to its drill ships, however, a shore based facility is necessary. After reports that it initially planned to use a shore based facility in Trinidad, Exxon had subsequently begun constructing a warehouse and shore base of its own at Muneshwars’s Houston port.

In the case of Tullow, it already had a shorebase on the twin island republic. However, it was reported soon after its first oil discovery that Tullow was looking to switch its operations from Trinidad to Guyana.