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Israeli company may become operator in Kaieteur Block which ExxonMobil exits

The Israel-headquartered Ratio Energy is expected to take over the search and production of oil in the Kaieteur Block, now that ExxonMobil has walked away from that concession, the American supermajor announced on Thursday.

“Ratio is anticipated to assume the role as operator,” ExxonMobil said in a statement. Cataleya Energy and Ratio have also been assigned participating interest.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday told Demerara Waves Online News that Cataleya and Ratio would now have to seek approval from the Guyana government for the ownership to revert to them. “It’s still with them. They still have time. This is just a change in ownership. It is not like they have to relinquish the block so the 10 years for them to relinquish has not expired so they still have time to fulfill their plans,” he said.

ExxonMobil did not say why and when it decided to exit the Kaieteur Block, and what was the nature of the financial transaction among the companies. Cataleya had been awarded the Kaieteur Block in 2015.

ExxonMobil reiterated its commitment to continue exploration and expand production in the Stabroek Block. “Our withdrawal from the Kaieteur block has no impact on our commitment to seeking further exploration and development opportunities and to generating additional value for the government and people of Guyana,” ExxonMobil said. ExxonMobil hopes to soar Guyana’s oil production to 1 million barrels per day by the end of 2027 with six Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels.

In clear reference to the discovery of oil in non-commercial quantities at Tanager-1 in the Kaieteur Block in November 2020, ExxonMobil said, “Our exploration efforts and discovery of oil in the Kaieteur block have highlighted Guyana’s offshore potential.”

ExxonMobil and its co-venturers, Hess and China National Overseas Oil Company (CNOOC), earlier this month submitted a bid for a deepwater oil block in Guyana’s first ever auction.