Guyana’s president welcomes Chevron’s bid to buy into $150bn oil project

Politics 16:49 27.05.2024

Guyana’s president has said he would welcome Chevron joining the ExxonMobil-led consortium that operates the country’s $150bn-plus offshore oil project ahead of a crunch vote by Hess shareholders on Chevron’s controversial takeover bid.

Ednews informs via the Financial Times that in October, Chevron offered $53bn to buy Hess, in part to gain a foothold in Guyana’s Stabroek Block, one of the most lucrative oil discoveries in recent decades. Hess owns 30 per cent of the project.

Irfaan Ali told the Financial Times his government was keen to attract the world’s largest oil companies, such as Chevron, to develop its resources and suggested any move by Exxon to increase its stake in the project could raise competition concerns.

The Chevron-Hess deal erupted into a clash between the US’s two biggest oil companies after Exxon filed an arbitration claim arguing it had a right of first refusal to purchase Hess’s interest in the Guyana project — a move that could boost its own shareholding beyond its current 45 per cent stake.

“I wouldn’t use the word nervous,” Ali said when asked whether he was anxious about the possibility of Exxon gaining a more dominant stake in the project. He noted that consolidation in other sectors that led to one business controlling more than half of the market “can cause concern”, saying: “We are of the view that the partnership works well.”

Ali said the proposal to bring in a major new partner into the consortium was a matter for the existing partners, but added that he thought it would be good to have the “largest operators from the US operating in Guyana”.

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