GUYANA OIL: Canje block owners sold shares 6 weeks after receiving block


The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) has noted the quick flipping of blocks without having done substantial work, as a major red flag of inquiry into possible corruption.

Kaieteur News – It is unclear whether the first recipient of the Canje oil block, Mid-Atlantic Oil & Gas, ever intended to do the work it committed to doing under the agreement with government.
This is evidenced by the fact that the company sold away shares in the block, a mere six weeks after it received it.

Scott Young

Edris Kamal Dookie

 John Cullen


The Canje block was signed away by Government on March 4, 2015 to Mid-Atlantic, weeks before the May 11 general and regional elections.

Days after the election, on May 15, JHI farmed into the block. It is notable that JHI was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands on June 17, 2015 after it farmed into the Canje block.

The relationship between JHI and Mid-Atlantic can be easily explained by taking a look at their principals. JHI’s website lists its Chief Executive Officer and Director as John Cullen. Information on Cullen from JHI’s website states that Cullen has “20+ years corporate experience in Guyana petroleum exploration.”

Further research into the other principles of JHI Associates shows there are multiple linkages between them and the owner of Mid-Atlantic, Edris Kamal Dookie.

First off, the experience Cullen touts is experience he shares with Dookie. The two men co-founded CGX in 1996. That company has benefitted from several licenses, but was never successful in finding oil. Both men have left CGX.

Cullen also directs a company called Jaguar Holdings. This company, Dookie and Scott Young (another of JHI’s directors) all ,are shareholders in a Canada company called Oyster Oil & Gas Limited.

Cullen’s JHI said that it purchased seismic data packages on the Guyana-Suriname basin after it acquired its share of the Canje Block, but it did nothing else. Yet, its principals have been making bucks by selling out shares in the company. The UK investment firm, Westmount Energy has been quietly buying into companies that have stakes in blocks offshore Guyana, principally JHI. JHI makes money because it owns the Canje block in which it does no work, and Guyana gains nothing.

Exxon farmed into the Canje license less than a year after JHI did, becoming the operator with 35 percent of the shares, according to Global Witness. The sum Exxon paid for its share is unknown.

In February of 2018, JHI and Mid-Atlantic also struck a deal with Total, which resulted in Total having a 35 percent stake.

The block is now currently split between Total (35 percent), ExxonMobil (35 percent), Mid-Atlantic (12.5 percent) and JHI Associates (17.5 percent).


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