GEORGETOWN, GUYANA - The current sweeping global credit crisis has not crimped the search for crude oil and gas deposits offshore Guyana, Canada's CGX Energy Inc announced here yesterday.
It said that in association with Spanish-based giant Repsol YPF it has begun the high-tech 3D (three-dimensional) seismic programme previously announced on June 5 and September.
"We are pleased that the programme has now commenced after a delay in the vessel arriving in Guyana due to weather in the Caribbean. During the current global credit crisis, we are fortunate to be fully funded for this programme that we estimate to be approximately US$16 million", said Mr. Kerry Sully, President and CEO of CGX.
CGX said it is undertaking a 536 square kilometre 3D programme on its 100% held Corentyne concession and it is participating with YPF Guyana Ltd., a subsidiary of Repsol YPF, in a 1,650 square kilometre 3D programme on the adjoining Georgetown bloc, in which CGX holds a 25% interest.
The 3D marine-seismic programme is being undertaken by Fugro-GeoTeam utilising their seismic vessel 'R/V GeoPacific', the company said.
CGX is a Canadian-based oil and gas exploration company focused on exploration for oil in Guyana.
Exxon Mobil, one of the largest oil companies in the world, in late September began oil exploration in deep water off Guyana in a sign of the growing foreign interest in the country after a U.N. boundary ruling.
CGX Energy had earlier announced that it will begin offshore exploration, a resumption of its frozen activity after the United Nations ruled a year ago in favour of Guyana in a sea border dispute with Suriname.
Guyana hailed the ruling last year, hoping it would draw back oil companies to tap reserves offshore and boost an economy that depends on the agriculture and mining industries.
The U.N. decision set a frontier between Guyana and Suriname in the Atlantic Ocean off the northeastern shoulder of South America.
In June, 2000, CGX was forced to halt a drilling programme it had started off the Corentyne coast after gunboats from the Suriname navy ordered the crew and hired rig out of the zone.
Suriname had long claimed part of the border region with Guyana as its territory and after high-level missions led by President Bharrat Jagdeo and then Foreign Minister Clement Rohee failed to convince the government of then President Jules Wijdenbosch to settle the dispute, Guyana took its case to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea.
The tribunal sitting in the Hague in the Netherlands, after almost three years of deliberations, last year handed down an award in Guyana's favour, preserving 93 percent of the CGX Corentyne Licence as being in this country's territory.
CGX says the United States Geological Survey (USGS") World Petroleum Assessment 2000 estimates that the Guyana-Suriname Basin is one of the largest unexplored petroleum basins in the world. It currently ranks 1st for oil among the world's unexplored basins and 12th among all the world's explored and unexplored basins. The undiscovered resource potential is estimated to be approximately 15.2 billion barrels of oil and 42 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. It said the USGS estimates there are 117 oil fields of more than one million barrels of recoverable oil, including 24 elephants of greater than 100 million barrels, and six giant fields of more than 500 million.