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CNOOC joins fray in ExxonMobil-Chevron Guyana dispute

GEORGETOWN, March 21, 2024 – CNOOC, a partner in Guyana’s prolific Stabroek block alongside ExxonMobil and Chevron, has launched its own bid for arbitration, asserting its rights to first refusal of Hess’s stake, Upstream Online reported on Thursday.

The filing with the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris follows similar moves earlier this month by ExxonMobil and Chevron.

The dispute surrounds Chevron’s merger with Hess Corporation, which ExxonMobil says violates its pre-emption rights in the licence.


“We will uphold the terms of the partners’ agreement to safeguard our shareholders’ interests,” CNOOC board secretary Xu Yugao was quoted as saying.

ExxonMobil senior vice-president Neil Chapman has said the merger “attempted to circumvent the commercial purpose” of the contract in Guyana, while Chevron has maintained that ExxonMobil had no prospects of acquiring the stake.

In October, Chevron announced it would buy Hess under a USD 53-billion deal. Hess’s stake in The Stabroek block was cited as a key driver of the deal, along with its Bakken and Gulf of Mexico assets.

At present, ExxonMobil holds a 45% operating stake in the Stabroek block while Hess holds 30% and CNOOC holds the remaining 25%.

The block’s recoverable resources have been estimated at 11 billion boe. It has generated more than 30 finds since 2015, with the latest reported by ExxonMobil last week.

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