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Exxon modifies deal with Norwegian seismic company following Venezuelan incursion


ExxonMobil's Guyana Head of PR and Govt. Affairs, Deedra Moe

By Kaieteur News

GEORGETOWN 01 15 2019

USA oil giant, ExxonMobil, has modified its deal with Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS), the Norwegian firm it hired to provide two vessels to conduct seismic work offshore Guyana.
Exxon opted to keep one of the two Ramform Titan-class vessels following the incursion by a Venezuelan military ship on December 22, last.

According to international media reports, (, the deal for the two Ramform Titan-class vessels to conduct the 3D survey in South America was announced on November 14, 2018.

The vessels Ramform Atlas and Ramform Tethys were mobilized in early December 2018 for this survey. The contract had an estimated total duration of approximately 13 vessel months and an estimated value in excess of US$75 million.

However, PGS said recently that due to unresolved issues affecting the survey, both vessels have been on paid standby from December 23, 2018. PGS confirmed that while the Venezuelan incursion forced Exxon to pause the seismic exploration activities, drilling and development operations offshore Guyana were unaffected.

PGS said it was also informed by ExxonMobil that the Ramform Atlas was no longer required. The Norwegian firm said it will receive payment for mobilization, work performed, standby and demobilization.

PGS said, too, that it expects to deploy the vessel on a MultiClient programme or contract survey shortly, but will incur idle time relating to steaming and possibly standby before starting an alternative project.

PGS said it also understands that ExxonMobil plans to deploy the Ramform Tethys to acquire a 4D survey offshore Guyana. PGS said that the vessel will continue on paid standby until it starts the redefined programme. PGS expects the vessel to be operating in the area for at least three months.

Speaking with Kaieteur News yesterday, Exxon's Head of Government and Public Affairs, Deedra Moe, confirmed that there are plans to deploy the PGS-operated vessel to the Turbot area to acquire 4D seismic data similar to the 4D campaign conducted in the Liza area in 2017.
“We are evaluating future seismic plans,” Moe added. She noted, too, that safety and security remain top priorities for Exxon.


The U.S Department of State has made it clear that it has taken note of the fact that a Venezuelan Navy ship “aggressively” stopped ExxonMobil contracted vessels from operating under an oil exploration agreement with Guyana in its Exclusive Economic Zone.

On this premise, Department's Deputy Spokesperson, Robert Palladino said, “We underscore that Guyana has the sovereign right to explore and exploit resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone.” He also called for Venezuela to respect international law and the rights of its neighbours.

The APNU+AFC Government have also rejected, and labeled as an illegal and hostile act, the Venezuelan navy's interception of research vessels that were contracted by ExxonMobil.

Specifically making this comment was the Foreign Affairs Ministry. In a missive to the media, the Ministry said that the move once again demonstrates the real threat to Guyana's economic development by its western neighbour. The Ministry also said that it is an act that violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.



Story from Kaieteur News / 01 15 2019


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