In what is its second biggest single oil reservoir find to date in Guyana’s waters, ExxonMobil has announced the discovery of 230 feet of high quality oil in its Ranger-1 well within the Stabroek Block.
According to ExxonMobil on Friday, the well was at the time being drilled by the Stena Carron drillship. Work on the Ranger-1 well had started last November and it was drilled to over 6000 feet before Exxon made its discovery.
The well is 60 miles North West of the Liza phase one project. The discovery of oil in this well is Exxon’s sixth in local waters since 2015. It is estimated that all these discoveries add up to more than 3.2 billion recoverable oil-equivalent barrels.
According to ExxonMobil Exploration Company’s President, Steve Greenlee, this latest find while operating at daunting depths, illustrates his company’s deep water and carbonate exploration capacity.
“This discovery proves a new play concept for the 6.6 million acre Stabroek Block, and adds further value to our growing Guyana portfolio,” the oil executive added, in a brief statement on the discovery.
Meanwhile, the Natural Resources Ministry expressed hope that the latest find would entice more investors to Guyana. According to the Ministry in a statement, the find underscores Guyana’s natural resource potential.
As such, the Ministry related that other companies are expected to be incentivised to pursue their own exploratory work programmes. In fact, the Ministry revealed that several such companies have supplied their seismic data collection. As such, they are slated to begin drilling in 2018.
Since ExxonMobil’s 2015 oil find in Guyana, the country has attracted international attention and precipitated intense sensitisation exercises. In May 2015, Exxon confirmed that more than 295 feet of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs was encountered at its Liza 1 exploration well.
In late June 2016, Exxon’s drilling results at Liza 2 revealed more than 58 metres of oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs in Upper Cretaceous formations. The well was drilled to 5475 metres at 1692 metres water depth. Drilling results confirmed recoverable resources to be between 800 million and 1.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
The company had announced that it made its third significant discovery in its drilling explorations offshore Guyana. Its partner, Hess Corporation, had noted that the Liza 3 exploratory well’s net value could be US$6.2 billion based on calculations from the Bank of Montreal (BMO) Capital Markets.
Drilling on Payara began on November 12, 2016, with initial total depth reached on December 2, 2016. In January of 2017, the oil giant had announced it had struck some 95 feet of oil reservoirs in its Payara-1 well, targeting the same type of reservoirs as the well’s Liza counterpart.
Oil was discovered in the Turbot-1 well in October of 2017. According to the oil company following the discovery, the well reservoir was 75 feet deep. Drilling has been ongoing at the Turbot well since August 2017.
It is understood that following the completion of the Ranger-1 well, the Stena Carron drillship will move to the Pacora prospect, four miles from the Payara discovery. Additional exploration drilling is planned on the Stabroek Block for 2018, including potential appraisal drilling at the Ranger discovery.
The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres. Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is the operator and hold a 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd holds a 30 per cent interest, and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds a 25 per cent interest.
The lesser known Orinduik oil block has been under the administration of Eco Guyana and Tullow, after they signed a 10-year Petroleum Prospecting licence and Production Sharing Agreement with Government in 2016.