ExxonMobil makes double oil discovery offshore Guyana
…finds oil at Whiptail 1 & 2 wells
Oil giant ExxonMobil has announced its 21st and 22nd oil discoveries offshore Guyana in the Stabroek Block, striking oil at the Whiptail-1 well, which it started drilling only last month, and the Whiptail-2 well.
The double discovery of oil by Exxon’s subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) follows its 20th oil discovery at the Longtail-3 well last month. According to Exxon, drilling at Whiptail-1 encountered 246 feet of oil reserves.
Additionally, Whiptail-2 well encountered 167 feet of oil reserves while being drilled. Exxon said that drilling will continue at both wells to test for deeper targets, with the results being evaluated for future development.
Commenting on the discovery was Exxon Senior Vice President of Exploration, Mike Cousins. According to Cousins, these discoveries could form the basis for future developments, even as an evaluation of the block continues.
“This discovery increases our confidence in the resource size and quality in the southeast area of the Stabroek Block and could form the basis for a future development as we continue to evaluate the best sequence of development opportunities within the block,” Cousins said.
Meanwhile, Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat released a statement in which he congratulated Exxon on its double oil discovery. According to Bharrat, these discoveries add to the gross recoverable resources that have been estimated in the block. It is estimated that the block holds over nine billion oil-equivalent barrels.
“As with discoveries prior, the Government of Guyana foresees this new development increasing the potential for additional Floating Production, Storage And Offloading Vessels (FPSOs). This is further set to increase the estimated recoverable resource given by the operator, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL).”
“In this regard, the Ministry and the petroleum sector regulatory agencies remain committed to working with all operators, in efforts to expedite their respective drill programmes as we seek the sector’s expansion,” Bharrat said in the statement.
The Minister further reiterated the Government’s commitment to using the oil resources for the benefit of all Guyana, while managing it in compliance with the tenets of transparency and accountability.
“The Government of Guyana welcomes these new discoveries offshore Guyana and reinforces its commitment to the sustainable exploration and development of Guyana’s oil and gas resources. This we commit to do with the highest level of compliance and transparency to ensure that the benefits from this sector improve the lives of all Guyanese,” Bharrat said in the statement.
ExxonMobil envisions at least six projects online by 2027 and sees potential for up to 10 projects to develop its current recoverable resource base. The Liza Destiny FPSO vessel is currently producing about 120,000 barrels of oil per day.
The start-up of Liza Phase 2 remains on target for early 2022, and the Liza Unity FPSO expects to sail from Singapore to Guyana in late August 2021. The Unity has a production capacity of approximately 220,000 barrels of oil per day.
The hull for the Prosperity FPSO vessel is complete, and topsides construction activities are ongoing in Singapore with a startup target of 2024. The first Payara development well was spudded in June 2021, and the offshore SURF installation will begin in third-quarter 2021.
Yellowtail has been identified as the fourth development project in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana with anticipated start-up in 2025. Following necessary Government approvals and a final investment decision, this project will develop the Yellowtail and Redtail fields, which are located about 19 miles (30 kilometres) southeast of the Liza developments, and potentially adjacent resources.
These new projects continue to contribute to the advancement of the Guyanese economy. More than 2600 Guyanese are now supporting project activities on and off shore, which reflects an increase of more than 20 per cent since the end of 2019. ExxonMobil and its key contractors have spent approximately US$388 million with more than 800 local companies since 2015.
The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). ExxonMobil affiliate EEPGL is operator and holds 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd holds 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds 25 per cent interest. (G3)