but reveals details to IDB
From 2015 to now, ExxonMobil has made 15 discoveries of oil wells offshore Guyana. It has always been keen to divulge details to the citizenry about the significance of its oil finds.
But the same cannot be said for its gas discoveries.
Up to three months ago, the oil operator told the media that it is still analysing the full contents of its finds. This was in response to questions about how much gas it has discovered to date and whether that amount is significant.
In the meantime however, it has informed the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that between 30 to 50 million cubic feet per day of Natural Gas (NG) can be made available for electricity generation in Guyana.
This was outlined in a loan agreement between the Government and the IDB. Making this known to the financial institution was ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL).
Together with Renewable Energy (RE) sources, the Bank said that this could transform the electricity generation sector. Further to this, the Bank said that the use of NG could help to lower carbon emissions and ensure cost savings, while benefiting residential, commercial, and industrial consumers.
For decades, the IDB noted that Guyana has remained dependent on the imports of fossil fuels for its energy needs. In fact, it was keen to highlight that the main electricity generation assets of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) are Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) and Light Fuel Oil (LFO).
As a point of interest, the bank highlighted that in 2012, GPL paid as much as US$110 million for imported HFO and LFO. It said that the decline in oil prices that started in 2014 has provided some relief to GPL, as its import bill in 2017 was US$67 million for similar volumes.
The IDB said that oil prices, however, have begun an upward swing over recent months; while noting that this exposes the country to oil price volatility and fuel availability for electricity generation, which for years has resulted in expensive electricity production with an average tariff of US$0.30/kilowatt hour (kWh) representing one of the highest rates in the Latin American and Caribbean region.