GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) -- Canadian petroleum company CGX Energy Inc. will drill for oil and natural gas deposits along Guyana's eastern coast next year after a nearly decade-long sea-border dispute disrupted operations, officials said Monday.
Drilling is expected to begin in late 2010 in the Corentyne region, company president Kerry Sully said.
Toronto-based CGX identified the location in June 2000 but was forced offsite when Suriname claimed ownership of it. A U.N. tribunal settled the maritime border dispute in 2007, awarding Guyana nearly double the territory granted to Suriname.
The resolution also determined that the CGX site was more than 6 miles (10 kilometers) inside Guyana's territory, Sully said, but the company found a better location 3 miles (5 kilometers) south of the original site.
CGX explored more than 190 square miles (500 square kilometers) and expects to spend roughly $70 million to drill a well 20,000 feet (6,000 meters) deep, Sully said.
Spanish-Argentine company Repsol YPF and Exxon Mobil Corp. of Irving, Texas, also have concessions in Guyana's oil-and-gas-rich basin, which could contain up to 15 billion barrels of oil and 42 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Two years ago, CGX paid $8.9 million -- the majority of Guyana's legal bill -- following the country's dispute with Suriname, though President Bharrat Jagdeo has said CGX would not receive preferential treatment.