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Regional News

October 20, 2003
Hundreds of Berbice samples for oil testing in Oklahoma
Stabroek News

By Daniel Da Costa
With hundreds of samples being collected daily in Berbice for testing in an Oklahoma, USA laboratory for the presence of oil, On Energy (OnE) is confident of positive results which could lead to drilling or further geo-physical work.

Three years after Surinamese patrol boats evicted a Canadian-owned oil-drilling rig from an offshore oil concession granted to OnE parent company CGX Energy Inc. some 95 miles off Guyana’s coast, CGX is still hoping that it may someday soon be allowed to return to the potentially rich concession.

Vice-President, Explorations of the Toronto, Canada-based company, Warren Workman in a recent interview with this newspaper at his New Amsterdam office said “we would like to return to the off-shore concession within the disputed zone but our decision will be based on the likelihood that we would be able to find oil and gas and in our belief that we will be treated fairly and reasonably by the Government of Guyana.” Asked whether the company had intentions of executing additional work in any other part of Guyana, Workman said “we have intentions of doing additional work should the disputed area be resolved between the two countries.”

OnE, a fully-owned subsidiary of CGX, was incorporated in Guyana to carry out its on-shore exploration programme. According to Workman the subsidiary was established “to perform the obligations under our various licences through the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, including the current geo-chemical programme and possible subsequent seismic and drilling operations and to evaluate the area for its oil and gas potential.”

The vice president was asked what influenced CGX to conduct the six-week exploration on land in Berbice. “Our decision was informed by an evaluation of the current production situation in Suriname; seeps in a number of older wells and a recent release by the Surinamese Oil Company Staatsoolie which showed geo-chemical anomalies of a similar type located in a block across the Corentyne River.”

Four crews with a total of some 20 workmen are now collecting geo-chemical samples at a depth of about 8 inches in East Berbice.

The exploration area covers some 400,000 acres bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, New Amsterdam and south to Crabwood Creek, Moleson Creek and into the Canje River. The exploration area also encompasses canefields owned by Guysuco’s Rose Hall, Albion and Skeldon estates.

Over the past two weeks the project was concentrated east of New Amsterdam where more than 800 samples were collected and has been proceeding along the coastline to Springlands and Crabwood Creek.

An average of some 300 samples are being collected each day. At the end of the six-week exploratory exercise the samples will be shipped to a laboratory in Oklahoma in the United States to be analysed. And according to Workman “after an assessment we will decide what the next step should be, whether additional geo-physical work, seismic or drilling operations.”

How optimistic is he of positive results from the present exercise? “I am optimistic with the precaution that it is a new base for production. It is high risk to expect that the first well(s) will be successful.

However the presence of oil in the Tamaredjo field near Paramaribo, Suriname is encouraging and indicates that there is a reasonable chance for gas and oil currents.”

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