GEORGETOWN, Guyana--The Guyana government says it is reviewing an agreement Qatar’s state-owned oil company Qatar Petroleum (QP) has reached with Total to acquire a stake in the French energy giant’s two oil and gas blocks offshore the Caribbean Community CARICOM nation.

  QP announced the deal on Monday, saying it would hold 40 per cent of Total’s 25 per cent participating interest in the Orinduik block, and 40 per cent of Total’s 25 per cent participating interest in neighbouring Kanuku.

  Tullow Oil operates Orinduik while Repsol operates Kanuku.

  In making the announcement, Qatar Petroleum chief executive officer (CEO) Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said, “We are pleased to expand our global exploration footprint into Guyana together with our valuable, long-term partner Total, in these offshore blocks in this prospective basin.

  “We hope that the exploration efforts are successful. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners and the government of Guyana for their collaboration in this effort, and we look forward to working together in these blocks.”

  But Mark Bynoe, Director of Guyana’s Department of Energy, says the deal is “substantially unclear.”

  “What we’re finding here is Qatar Petroleum seeking to back into the Total agreement. But we can’t go further than that because it is still early days,” he said, adding that the authorities are in discussion with the co-venturer “so we can have greater clarity.”

  Bynoe said the government had received a transaction letter from Total and is studying the document.

“Until such time that we understand the full implications … we’re not about to pronounce thereon,” he concluded.