The Government of Guyana has given the green light to a bid from a consortium that includes QatarEnergy, TotalEnergies and Petronas, reported Reuters, citing the country’s Minister of Public Works, Deodat Indar. 

The approval has been granted for offshore oil block S-4, which was offered as part of the country’s first competitive auction for 14 offshore blocks initiated in September 2023.  

Besides the QatarEnergy, TotalEnergies and Petronas consortium, the auction received a bid from an ExxonMobil-led group, which has to date been responsible for all of Guyana’s oil production.  

Following the bid approval, Indar said that the government is in the process of negotiating the terms of the production sharing agreement (PSA). 

“They applied for their go-ahead, for their exploration activities,” Indar told the publication. “The cabinet has cleared it, but they are working through their PSA with the ministry of natural resources.” 

Meanwhile, Guyana’s Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, said that the ongoing talks with the consortium are limited to non-fiscal terms. Fiscal terms such as taxes and royalties are statutorily set. 

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The government is yet to award any of the blocks. 

Guyana, which has made significant oil discoveries in recent years, is looking to attract further investment into its burgeoning oil sector by potentially adjusting non-fiscal terms with bidders.  

Representatives from TotalEnergies, QatarEnergy and Petronas did not respond to requests for comment on the matter, the publication said.

According to Exxon Guyana country manager Alistair Routledge, the ExxonMobil-led group, which includes Hess and CNOOC, is engaged in discussions with the ministry regarding its bid for the shallow water block S-8.  

This group is said to have been key in uncovering more than 11 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas resources since 2015 and is currently producing around 650,000 barrels of oil per day. 

ExxonMobil recently committed to the $12.7bn Whiptail development offshore Guyana, the sixth project in the prolific Stabroek block.