Guyana’s oil find continues to grow: ExxonMobil makes another discovery
…now over 8 billion barrels recoverable
With a 16th discovery offshore Guyana, US oil giant ExxonMobil has boosted its estimated recoverable resource base to more than eight billion oil-equivalent barrels.
Northeast of the producing Liza field lies the Uaru exploration well, the company’s latest discovery on the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana.
In its announcement on Monday, the supermajor revealed that the well, its first for the year 2020, encountered approximately 94 feet of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir.
Uaru, drilled in 6342 feet (1933 metres) of water, is located approximately 10 miles (16 kilometres) Northeast of the Liza field, which began producing in December 2019.
In addition to this latest discovery, ExxonMobil announced that it also upped its estimated recoverable resource base to more than eight billion oil-equivalent barrels.
This new estimate includes the 15 discoveries offshore Guyana through year-end 2019. The previous estimate was six billion oil-equivalent barrels.
“With recent high-quality finds at Tripletail and Mako contributing to our recoverable resources, our investments will continue to provide benefits for the people of Guyana,” said Senior Vice President of Exploration and New Ventures at ExxonMobil, Mike Cousins.
“The Uaru discovery is another positive step as we begin a new decade with the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and our co-venturers,” he is quoted as saying in a press statement.
Production from the Liza Phase 1 development is currently ramping up and will produce up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day in the coming months, utilising the Liza Destiny floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO).
The Liza Unity FPSO, which will be employed for the second phase of Liza development and will have a production capacity of 220,000 barrels of oil per day, is under construction and expected to start production by mid-2022.
Pending Government approvals and project sanctioning of a third development, production from the Payara field north of the Liza discoveries could start as early as 2023, reaching an estimated 220,000 barrels of oil per day.
Guyana’s Director of Energy, Dr Mark Bynoe in a statement said this latest development is testimony to the level of economic transformation it is about to undergo.
He is quoted as saying: “All Guyanese should welcome this new discovery and should begin to appreciate that the nation is on the cusp of major economic transformation and sustained development. The Department of Energy remains committed to working with its partners and ecosystem of agencies, to ensure that the benefits from the sector, both direct and indirect, redound to every Guyanese.”
Under the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) governing the Stabroek Block, the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana will be receiving at a minimum, 2 per cent royalty on all oil produced in the Block plus 12.5 per cent profit oil.
In the meantime, four drillships in Guyana continue to explore and appraise new resources.
A fifth drillship is expected to be deployed later this year.
The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is the operator and holds 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Limited holds 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds 25 per cent interest.
Guyana’s other explorer, British-owned Tullow Oil, has made three oil finds to date at its Joe-1 exploration well, the Jethro-Lobe and the Carapa-1.
However, the quality of the oil finds might not be commercially viable.
A report from Norwegian research company Rystad Energy revealed that for 2019, Guyana was able to overtake Russia as the world’s highest oil producer.