More than 30 companies, including commodities traders like Gunvor and Vitol as well as units of oil majors like Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, submitted expressions of interest for a contract to market the Guyanese government's share of the country's crude, the government said on Tuesday.
The National Procurement and Tender Board administration unveiled the bids after their Tuesday morning deadline. Other major companies submitting expressions of interest included units of Mercuria, Lukoil, PetroChina, Equinor, Total, Glencore, Petrobras and Aramco.
Guyana, a poor South American country, joined the world's oil producers last year when an Exxon-led consortium began extracting crude from the prolific offshore Stabroek block, where it has discovered more than 8 billion barrels of recoverable resource alongside partners Hess Corp and China's CNOOC Ltd.
The government is entitled to half of all oil produced after cost recovery, but with no domestic refining capacity or national oil company, it is seeking a third party to help it sell the oil. The government reached a deal with Shell last year to lift its first three cargoes.
The current search, which the government opened in February, is for a 12-month contract to handle at least five lifts of 1 million barrels each.
The government now plans to shortlist no more than 20 companies. Those companies would then be required to provide a full technical proposal and financial offer, a process that could take around two months.
Reuters previously reported that Shell, Mercuria, and Gunvor had submitted expressions of interest.
(Reporting by Neil Marks Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Sandra Maler and Jonathan Oatis)