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Regional News

May 27, 2009
Two companies to begin onshore drilling shortly
Stabroek News

The two oil exploration companies that had earlier indicated that they would like to begin drilling on their on-shore blocks this year, are in the midst of preparations.

Trinidadian company, Sadhna Petroleum is mobilizing equipment and is expected to begin drilling in the Mahaicony area by July. Groundstar Resources too has commenced preparations at its Takutu location and has indentified and prepared a drill location and built a pad. The work camp at that location has been prepared while infrastructure work has been done, though some work to access the location such as reinforcing bridges is ongoing, Petroleum Manager of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Newell Dennison told Stabroek News recently.

Sadhna, a Trinidadian exploration and drilling company, which with Groundstar signed agreements with the Government of Guyana in 2006 for the exploration for petroleum products and for the sharing of returns if the findings were in commercially viable quantities, has operations in the Mahaica/ Mahaicony area. Dennison said there is a high expectation that a well will be drilled in the Mahaicony area by year-end.

He noted that the drill is already here and has been here for some time and it will be deployed to the general vicinity shortly. He said the company has been making all the right moves to get permission; to import drilling supplies and has committed to undertaking its obligations shortly. Dennison said drilling will probably happen by July the latest.

The Petroleum Manager further noted that there is a high expectation that drilling will commence in the Rupununi too. Certainly before the year is out...as far as I am aware some of the drilling supplies have arrived in the country, he said. Groundstar has been operating a 9,800-square kilometre Petroleum Prospecting Licence (PPL) in the Takutu basin of Guyana since July 2005. Late Thursday, it was announced that Groundstar had reduced its interest in the Takutu PPL and it indicated that drilling is expected to be done in the first half of next year.

With regard to another on-shore block, held by ON Energy Inc (a subsidiary of CGX Energy Inc of Canada), he said that by mid next year, they would probably be mobilizing to do a campaign there.

However in offshore Guyana, there will be no drilling done this year. There is an expectation that there will be drilling done in CGX's Corentyne Block next year. At a press conference on Tuesday, CGX’s President Kerry Sully had informed the media that the company will not be doing any drilling this year and data processing from the company's 3D Seismic programme is ongoing and expected to be completed by July. He had indicated that drilling could be done next year.

Meantime, with regard to the Georgetown Block, in which CGX holds a 25% interest, the data processing is expected to be completed in July/August. Drilling in off-shore Guyana this year, I don't see that happening, Dennison said. He added that if all goes according to plan, some commitments that are expected could be made.

Exxon, he said, will not be doing any drilling this year though he noted that that company had done a lot of seismic work and processed the data gathered though more may be needed. The Petroleum Manager said that the company is moving at it's quickest on its way to get to the point where targets are identified.They are some way away from that point, he observed pointing out that the timelines that they are working with do not require drilling to be done this year.The two oil exploration companies that had earlier indicated that they would like to begin drilling on their on-shore blocks this year, are in the midst of preparations.

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