ExxonMobil spuds new exploration well offshore Guyana

ExxonMobil has commenced drilling a new well in the Stabroek Block, while also conducting drill stem testing on the Redtail-1 well where it found high-quality reservoirs of oil back in September of this year.

Exxon’s Stena Carron drillship

According to reports reaching this publication, Exxon has only just spudded the new well. In the meantime, the drill stem test on the Redtail-1 well will be geared towards assessing the reservoir quality of the oil find. On Monday, Upstream Oil reported that Exxon had started its drill stem on one of its most promising hydrocarbons in the prolific Stabroek Block.
It was expected that ExxonMobil would do the test between December 11 and 22, using Stena Carron – the same drillship that spudded the ill-fated Tanager-1 well last month, which was found to not be commercially viable notwithstanding its status as Exxon’s deepest well in the Guyana-Suriname basin.
The Redtail-1 discovery was announced on September 8, with Guyana’s Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat in a statement speaking of the significance of the discovery and Exxon’s continued pursuit of high-quality reservoirs.
“The Government of Guyana welcomes the Redtail discovery and remains committed to the development of Guyana’s oil and gas resources… the ExxonMobil exploration programme continues to identify high-quality reservoirs in close proximity to previous discoveries. This will play an integral part in our long-term growth plans which will bring significant value to Guyana’s development,” he had said.
“This discovery comes in wake of our country’s budget for the year 2020 and complements the number of progressive measures announced by Dr Irfaan Ali, President of Guyana and Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo. I assure you that the Government will do everything possible to ensure benefits from this and other sectors enhance the lives of all our people,” he added.
The Minister had also pointed out that the discovery complements the Lisa-1 well, which he pointed out has already netted Guyana US$150 million ($31.3 billion) from oil lifts and royalty payments.
Last year, Exxon made five discoveries offshore Guyana. Discoveries were made in the Tilapia-1 well, Haimara-1, Yellowtail-1, Tripletail-1 and the Mako-1 well. These discoveries had pushed the total estimated recoverable barrels of oil equivalent to over six billion.
The company also discovered oil in the Uaru-1 well back in January 2020. Uaru was ExxonMobil’s 16th oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Uaru-1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering approximately 94 feet (29 metres) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir and was drilled in 6342 feet (1933 metres) of water.
And in July of 2020, ExxonMobil’s partner in the Stabroek Block, Hess Corporation, had revealed that two high-quality reservoirs offshore Guyana were found in 2020 around the time the company was appraising the Yellowtail-2 well.
So far, the Liza-1 well has accounted for all of Guyana’s oil production. Guyana only began producing oil last year in the Stabroek Block, lifting its first million barrels of profit oil from the Liza-1 well in February 2020.
The Bank of Guyana’s half-year report, which covers the period up to the end of June 2020, had previously revealed that Guyana produced over 10 million barrels of oil during the first half of 2020. (G3)