CGX plans search for oil onshore
By Patrick Denny
Stabroek News
December 2, 2002

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Using modern geo-chemical techniques, the Canadian company, CGX Energy plans to expand its search for oil on the land portion of its concession.

On June 3, 2000, Surinamese gunboats evicted an oil rig hired by the company from the offshore section of the concession. This sparked a period of heightened tension between Guyana and Suriname. The two governments have since embarked on negotiations that would allow the marine resources to be jointly exploited pending resolution of the border dispute.

CGX's Chief Executive Officer, Kerry Sully told Stabroek News this week that the company is yet to make a decision on whether it would undertake the study on its own or seek out other partners. The area is a strip of land that runs for about 15 miles from the north shore of the Corentyne River. He explained that the initial work is not expensive but if the results were encouraging, the other steps that would have to be taken would run into hundreds of thousands of US dollars.

He said that the technique involves inserting a tube with a membrane at the end of it into the earth up to a depth of three or four feet and leaving it for several weeks. He pointed out that the device would detect minute leakages from oil deposits.

Sully noted that the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) is also carrying out similar work and his company is anxious to learn the results of those tests. He added that Staatsolie, the Surinamese state-owned oil company has done similar work onshore and if the prospects are good here he expected the normal exchange of information that takes place between oil companies.

Asked if CGX has been in touch with Surinamese officials about trying to get an agreement that would allow it to drill in its concession from which it was evicted, Sully said the company has not as it has always regarded the issue as one for the two governments to resolve and that would remain its position.

Sully disclosed that the company has acquired some 15,000 kilometres of line data, which he says would position CGX to raise money for exploration from the expected development of the recently-acquired George-town Basin. CGX has acquired concessions adjacent to the one from which it was evicted as well as in the Maxol/Georgetown Basin.

Some of the data, he says, was acquired from Deminex and is stored in caves in Wales in the United Kingdom. He said that new techniques would be used to reprocess this data that was not possible to obtain at the time it was originally worked on.

Sully said his company was also heartened by the development of the natural gas reserves in the Deltano Basin, which was discovered in 1905, and is only now being jointly developed by Venezuela and Trinidad. He pointed out that the basin is positioned near the Guyana/Venezuelan border and that it would make available drilling resources that CGX would need if the data indicates the presence of oil reserves.

An exciting prospect, according to Sully, is the co-generation of electricity if the appropriate type of oil is discovered. This he asserted would reduce Guyana's hefty import bill for heavy oil.

With Sully on his recent visit here were John Cullen, Denis Clement and Guyanese consultant Dr Tyrone Ferguson.

With both Venezuela and Suriname driving away companies interested in drilling for oil offshore of Guyana, the government here recently announced that it is trying to rekindle interest in promising onshore areas including the Takatu Basin.

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