…as Govt calls on other operators to expedite drilling
US oil giant ExxonMobil has made its 20th discovery of oil offshore Guyana, finding 70 metres (230 feet) of high-quality oil reservoirs while conducting drilling at its Longtail-3 well in the Stabroek Block.
According to a statement from ExxonMobil’s headquarters, the find was made at the Longtail-3 well by drillship Stena DrillMAX. The well was drilled in over 2000 metres (6000 feet) of water.
Longtail-3 follows on the success of Longtail-1, where oil was found by Exxon in 2018. In the statement, Exxon Senior Vice President Mike Cousins said that the find has the potential to increase the company’s resource estimate.
“Longtail-3, combined with our recent discovery at Uaru-2, has the potential to increase our resource estimate within the Stabroek Block, demonstrating further growth of this world-class resource and our high-potential development opportunities offshore Guyana,” Cousins said.
“We will continue to leverage our core competitive advantages in our ongoing exploration campaign, delivering substantial value to the Guyanese people, our partners, and shareholders,” the Vice President added.
Meanwhile, a statement from Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat lauded Exxon on its latest oil find. According to the Minister, the find will add to the previously announced gross recoverable resource estimate for the Block – which currently stands at more than nine billion oil-equivalent barrels.
“The Government of Guyana anticipates that this new development will further increase the potentials for more Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessels (FPSOs). Additionally, this will increase the estimated recoverable resource given by the operator, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL).”
According to Minister Bharrat, the Ministry and the oil and gas sector’s regulatory agencies will continue to work with other operators to expedite their drill programme as the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration seeks to expand the sector.
This is likely a reference to operators such as CGX Energy, which is scheduled to start its drilling campaign in the second half of 2021 with two wells being drilled in the Corentyne and Demerara Blocks that are expected to cost the company some US$90 million.
In November 2020, CGX had announced that the Government, following discussions on the drilling delays in the Corentyne Block, had agreed to give CGX a one-year extension until November 27, 2021, by which time it is expected to commence drilling.
In the Demerara Block, an exploration well was supposed to have been drilled by February 12, 2021, with another exploration well being drilled by February 12, 2023. However, CGX is yet to drill a well in the Corentyne Block, something that the current Government has expressed concern over.
“Again, the Government of Guyana welcomes this new discovery at Longtail-3 offshore Guyana and reinforces its commitment to the sustainable exploration and development of Guyana’s oil and gas resources. This will be done in keeping with the highest level of compliance and transparency to ensure that the benefits from this sector enhance the lives of all Guyanese,” Minister Bharrat said in his statement.
Exxon last found oil in the Uaru-2 well in April of this year; it was Exxon’s 19th find. The company has said it deployed two additional drill ships in the first quarter of 2021, including the Stena DrillMAX and the Noble Sam Croft.
The Stabroek Block covers 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). EEPGL, Exxon’s local subsidiary, is the operator and holds a 45 per-cent stake 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.
ExxonMobil has said it anticipated that at least six projects offshore Guyana would be online by 2027. The oil major has established an ambitious oil exploration plan for 2021 offshore Guyana.