Exxon exploring for oil in Stabroek Block Tarpon_1A well
– development drilling also ongoing on LIZ_5i5 well
Oil giant ExxonMobil, through subsidiary Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) is currently drilling two exploration and development wells in the Stabroek Block, in addition to the development works it is also carrying out throughout the block.
According to a notice from the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), exploration drilling will conclude on the Tarpon_1A well site on April 30, 2023. This particular well, which is situated 122.3 nautical miles off Guyana’s coast, is currently being done by the MODU Stena DrillMax.
Exxon will meanwhile also be conducting development drilling on the LIZ_5i5 well with the MODU Noble Sam Croft drill ship until February 15, 2023. This well is also located in the Stabroek Block.
“The well site is situated approximately 106.9 nautical miles off the coast of Guyana and covers an area of 0.29 square nautical miles… all mariners are required to stay clear of this (Noble Sam Croft) vessel and navigate with extreme caution when in the vicinity,” the MARAD notice said.
Guyana, with US oil giant ExxonMobil as the operator, began producing oil on December 20, 2019, in the Stabroek Block. Guyana’s oil revenues are being held in the Natural Resource Fund (NRF) at the New York Federal Reserve Bank, where it is earning interest.
The oil-rich Stabroek Block, which is producing the oil, is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). Exxon, through its local subsidiary Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), is the operator and holds 45 per cent interest in the Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd holds 30 per cent interest, and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds the remaining 25 per cent interest.
Last month, the United States-based Hess Corporation announced yet another oil discovery offshore Guyana in the oil-rich Stabroek Block, where there is an estimated 11 billion-plus barrels of oil equivalent (boe) recoverable resource.
The discovery was made at the Fangtooth Southeast-1 (Fangtooth SE-1) well located approximately eight miles southeast of the original Fangtooth-1 discovery. The new discovery also came on the heels of a January 2022 oil find at the Fangtooth-1 well.
Currently, the Liza phase 1 and phase 2 developments in the Stabroek Block are operating at a combined gross production capacity of more than 360,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) using the Liza Destiny and Liza Unity floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels, respectively.
The third development in the Stabroek Block – Payara – is on track to come online by the end of 2023 with a gross production capacity of approximately 220,000 bopd; while the Yellowtail – the fourth development – is slated for 2025 with a production capacity of some 250,000 bopd. Both these development projects have been approved by the Guyana Government.
Uaru is the fifth development and is expected to come online at the end of 2026 with a gross production capacity of approximately 250,000 bopd with first oil anticipated at the end of 2026. The development plan for Uaru was submitted for Government approval in November 2022 and final approval is expected by the end of the first quarter of this year.
ExxonMobil has said it anticipates at least six projects offshore Guyana will be online by 2027. They are meanwhile seeking project approval for their sixth oil development in Guyana’s waters, approaching the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for environmental authorisation for its Whiptail Project.
The move to seek approval for the Whiptail development comes even as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also considering whether to approve the Uaru oil development in the Stabroek Block.