US Geological Survey may still be underestimating potential of Stabroek Block – Norway Group

– says Guyana-Suriname Basin could have more than 13.6B barrels of oil

The Guyana-Suriname basin, where oil giant ExxonMobil made its 26th and 27th discoveries of oil earlier in the year in the Stabroek Block, could well hold more than 13.6 billion barrels of oil it is estimated to hold by the United States (US) Geological Survey.

Rystad’s Senior Vice President and Head of Latin America, Schreiner Parker

This is according to the Norwegian Research group Rystad Energy. According to the group’s Senior Vice President and Head of Latin America, Schreiner Parker, in a recent newsletter, Rystad estimates that Exxon’s last finds in the Fangtooth and Lau Lau wells bring the total discovered volumes in the basin to over 12.5 billion barrels of oil.
“The Fangtooth and Lau Lau discoveries – named for fish species, like previous wells – are the 22nd and 23rd discoveries in the prolific block and will add to volumes that have earlier been estimated at around 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe),” he wrote.
“Rystad Energy’s initial view is that these two finds together could hold over half a billion boe of recoverable hydrocarbon resources, bringing the total discovered volumes in the Guyana-Suriname basin to more than 12.5 billion boe.”
He went on to write that considering the numerous untapped oil wells, particularly the more than a dozen wildcats lined up for drilling this year, the basin could be poised to exceed the current 13.6 billion barrels of oil estimate by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
When the USGS assessed the block in 2020 as part of its World Petroleum Resources Project, it was found that the Guyana-Suriname basin had an estimated 13.6 billion barrels of oil and 32 billion cubic feet of gas. This survey was intended as an updated assessment of the oil potential in the basin, considering the last one dated back to 2000 where even less oil was estimated.
United States oil giant, ExxonMobil, is meanwhile continuing its exploration activities in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, spudding the Patwa-1 well on Friday. The Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) had indicated in a Notice to Mariners that the oil major’s local affiliate, “Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd (EEPGL) will continue exploration drilling operations at the Patwa-1 Well Site within the Stabroek Block of Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone.”

According to the Notice, the well is being spudded with Noble Corporation’s drillship Noble Sam Croft. It was noted that drilling activities will continue until March 15, 2022. To this end, MARAD has informed mariners to stay clear of the vessels being used for the exercise and navigate with “extreme caution” whenever in the vicinity.
The Patwa-1 well is situated approximately 113.4 nautical miles (210 kilometres) from the Coast of Guyana, and covers an area of 0.29 square nautical miles (1 square kilometre).
Only earlier this month, Exxon announced two new oil discoveries in the oil rich Stabroek Block, which has more than 10 billion barrels of recoverable resource estimated.

Recent finds
When it comes to the recent oil finds were in the Fangtooth-1 and Lau Lau-1 wells in the Stabroek Block, Exxon has said that the Fangtooth-1 well had 164 feet of oil reservoir, while the Lau Lau-1 well had 315 feet of oil reservoir.
ExxonMobil’s Senior Vice President of exploration and new ventures, Mike Cousins, had noted that the discovery not only increased Exxon’s resource estimates but added to the company’s understanding of the Block.
“Initial results from the Fangtooth and Lau Lau wells are a positive sign for Guyana and continue to demonstrate the potential for the country’s growing oil and gas sector, ExxonMobil and our co-venturers in the Stabroek Block… Both discoveries increase our understanding of the resource, our continued confidence in the Block’s exploration potential, and our view that the many discoveries to date could result in up to 10 development projects,” Cousins said.
Meanwhile, Exxon Country Manager Alistair Routledge noted that the company’s success in Guyana’s waters was nothing short of extraordinary. Routledge also assured that as the company’s oil finds increased, so too would opportunities for Guyanese to benefit.
Previously, Exxon’s last oil find was at the Cataback-1 well in the Stabroek Block back in October 2021, where the company encountered 243 feet of oil reservoirs. Before that, the company had also found oil at the Pinktail-1 well in September.
Currently, the oil major is producing close to 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil in the giant Liza field with the Liza Destiny Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. This is Exxon’s first development project with two others already approved and its fourth in the process of being reviewed.
ExxonMobil has said it anticipates at least six projects offshore Guyana will be online by 2027, with developmental drilling recently starting on the second one, the Liza Phase 2 project.