ExxonMobil Makes Significant Oil Find Offshore Guyana
ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) has announced a “significant” new oil discovery on the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana at Whiptail.
The Whiptail-1 well encountered 246 feet of net pay in high quality oil bearing sandstone reservoirs and Whiptail-2, located three miles northeast of Whiptail-1, discovered 167 feet of net pay in high quality oil bearing sandstone reservoirs, ExxonMobil highlighted.
Drilling is continuing at both wells to test deeper targets, and results will be evaluated for future development, ExxonMobil noted. Whiptail-1 is being drilled in 5,889 feet of water by the Stena DrillMAX and Whiptail-2 is being drilled in 6,217 feet of water by the Noble Don Taylor. The Whiptail find is situated around four miles southeast of the Uaru-1 discovery, which was announced back in January 2020.
“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,” Mike Cousins, the senior vice president of exploration and new ventures at ExxonMobil, said in a company statement.
Commenting on the find, John Hess, the chief executive officer of Hess Corporation, Exxon’s partner in the Stabroek Block, said, “Whiptail is a significant new oil discovery that will add to the discovered recoverable resource estimate of approximately nine billion barrels of oil equivalent and could underpin a future oil development in the southeast area of the Stabroek Block”.
Last month, ExxonMobil announced a discovery offshore Guyana at the Longtail-3 well on the Stabroek Block. Drilling at Longtail-3 was said to have encountered 230 feet of net pay, including newly identified, high quality hydrocarbon bearing reservoirs below the original Longtail-1 discovery intervals. The Longtail-1 find was drilled in 2018, encountering approximately 256 feet of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. In April this year, ExxonMobil announced another oil discovery offshore Guyana at the Uaru-2 well on the Stabroek Block.
Situated around 120 miles offshore Guyana, the Stabroek Block spans 6.6 million acres, which is equivalent in size to 1,150 Gulf of Mexico blocks, Hess highlights on its website. Discoveries on the block to date have established the potential for at least six FPSO vessels by 2027 to develop the current discovered recoverable resource base, according to Hess.
The block’s Liza Phase 1 development, with a production capacity of 120,000 gross barrels of oil per day, delivered first production in December 2019 utilizing the Liza Destiny FPSO. The second phase of the Liza development, sanctioned in May 2019, will utilize the Liza Unity FPSO, with gross production capacity of approximately 220,000 barrels of oil per day, with start-up expected by early 2022.
A third phase of development at the Payara Field was sanctioned in September 2020, with first oil expected in 2024. Payara will utilize the Prosperity FPSO, which will have the capacity to produce up to 220,000 gross barrels of oil per day. A fourth development, Yellowtail, has been identified on the Stabroek Block with anticipated startup in 2025, pending government approvals and project sanctioning.
ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited holds a 45 percent operated interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd holds a 30 percent stake in the asset and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds the remaining 25 percent interest.
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