Tue | Sep 25, 2018

Guyana to construct offshore oil and gas facility at Crab Island

Published:Friday | March 31, 2017 | 12:00 AM

The Guyana government says it is to construct an onshore oil and gas facility at Crab Island, costing US$500 million, starting this year.

The facility will serve as a logistics and supply base for exploration and production of crude. Its components will include maintenance, fabrication, warehousing, spares and spares handling.

The Guyana Lands and Survey has been advertising leasehold interest in close proximity to the Island.

The facility is expected to create some 600 jobs which the government said could bring significant relief to residents of Berbice who continue to complain about lack of employment.

Technical skills such as welding are job opportunities that will be made available when the facility is functional but opportunities will also be made available during construction.

Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman said last year that an onshore base would be utilised at the start but would shift offshore as the oil exploration programme advances.

"Water Street will be used ... in the early years and it is expected that as production increases and more activity comes, we will migrate to Crab Island," Trotman said.

Earlier this month oil producing giant ExxonMobil advertised for onshore service providers. At least two companies with port facilities along Water Street have been shortlisted.

Trotman, however, says Guyana is considering more than just the needs of one explorer in its plans for developing its oil infrastructure.

"Everyone is thinking in terms of Exxon's operations only, but suffice to say we can't find ourselves thinking of one discovery and one company," the minister noted.

ExxonMobil and its partners discovered significant hydrocarbon reserves in the Liza Field, and have presented its development plans for extracting the oil to the to the Guyana government. Production is projected to begin in 2020.

Several other companies were issued licences to explore Guyana's deep waters, including Repsol, Tullow Oil, CGX, JHI, Eco Atlantic and Ratio Oil.

"Some point in time, all will be looking to re-engage and so the idea is to find an available piece of land or property which can accommodate all the operations," Trotman said regarding plans for the Crab Island facility.