ExxonMobil drops one PGS vessel from Guyana survey after incident with Venezuelan navy

Ramform Tethys. Source: PGS

ExxonMobil has made changes to a 3D survey contract in South America with PGS, excluding one of the two vessels from the deal following a December incident with the Venezuelan navy. 

The contract for 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 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 $75 million.

However, PGS said on Monday that, due to unresolved issues affecting the survey, both vessels have been on paid standby from December 23, 2018.

Namely, Venezuela’s navy in December intercepted two research vessels operating in Guyanese waters for ExxonMobil, claiming the vessels were operating within Venezuelan territory. One of the vessels was PGS’ Ramform Tethys. As a result, ExxonMobil paused its seismic exploration activities in the western portion of Guyana’s Stabroek Block. The company’s drilling and development operations offshore Guyana were unaffected by the incident.

PGS also said on Monday that the client, ExxonMobil, had notified PGS that the Ramform Atlas was no longer required. PGS will receive payment for mobilization, work performed, standby and demobilization. PGS expects to deploy the vessel on a MultiClient program or contract survey shortly, but will incur idle time relating to steaming and possibly standby before starting an alternative project.

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

In a separate statement on Monday ExxonMobil said the second PGS vessel had been released after seismic acquisition activities were suspended on December 22 when vessels were approached by the Venezuelan navy in the northwest portion of the Stabroek Block.

ExxonMobil confirmed plans to deploy one seismic vessel operated by PGS to the Turbot area to acquire 4D seismic data similar to a 4D campaign conducted in the Liza area in 2017.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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