Exxon Mobil CEO, Darren Woods, addressed concerns surrounding the company’s stance on Hess Corp’s assets in Guyana during the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston. Contrary to speculation, Woods clarified that Exxon’s aim is not to acquire Hess but to assert its rights over Hess’s Guyana assets amidst a dispute with Chevron.

The heart of the issue lies in a joint operating agreement governing the consortium responsible for Guyana’s oil production. Exxon contends that this agreement includes a right of first refusal, which it seeks to confirm through arbitration proceedings. Woods emphasized that Exxon’s intention is to safeguard its contractual rights rather than pursue an acquisition of Hess.

While both Chevron and Hess have expressed disagreement with Exxon’s interpretation of the joint operating agreement, the focus remains on resolving the preemption rights dispute. Woods hinted that acquiring Hess’s 30% stake in the Stabroek block, where the largest oil discoveries in two decades have been made, could be an option. However, he stressed that this consideration would come after resolving the contractual dispute and evaluating the investment required.

The Stabroek block, pivotal in Chevron’s bid for Hess, is anticipated to yield over 1.2 million barrels of oil and gas per day by 2027. Any potential acquisition of Hess’s assets would follow a comprehensive evaluation process to ensure alignment with Exxon’s strategic and financial objectives.

Despite uncertainties surrounding the outcome of the dispute and Chevron’s acquisition of Hess, Exxon remains focused on clarifying its contractual rights and assessing potential opportunities in the Guyana oil sector.

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