Double oil strike | Exxon, Tullow in new discoveries

Tullow’s Stena Forth drillship

…Govt recommits to ensuring all Guyanese benefit from resources

TWO separate oil finds offshore Guyana were announced on Monday by Tullow Oil plc’s (Tullow) and ExxonMobil which both stated that the finds of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs bode well for the future of Guyana.

The first was announced at 02:00 hours by Director of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe who informed that the Joe-1 exploration well has successfully opened a new Upper Tertiary oil play in the Guyana basin.

Director of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe (Delano Williams photo)

The Joe-1 find marks the second such for Tullow in the Orinduik block, having announced its first discovery at the Jethro-1 well in August, the announcements less than six weeks apart. Meanwhile, ExxonMobil copped its 14th discovery in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana at the Tripletail-1 well in the Turbot area, with the announcement coming from the Department at around 08:00 hours. The discovery adds to the previously announced estimated recoverable resource of more than 6 billion oil-equivalent barrels on the Stabroek Block.

Speaking to Tullow’s earlier announcement, Dr. Bynoe said: “The Co-operative Republic of Guyana continues to be encouraged by the prolific rate of discovery in our country. Every Guyanese can be assured that the Government will continue to work conscientiously to pursue the most effective and efficient marketing strategies of Guyana’s crude entitlement to transform our economy and to implement sustainable development programmes from which all Guyanese can benefit.”

A recent Competent Persons Report on the block, prior to the discoveries on the Jethro and Joe wells, estimates that there is a gross 3,982 million Barrels of oil equivalent on the Orinduik Block. The Joe-1 exploration well was drilled by the Stena Forth drillship to a final depth of 2,175 meters in approximately 780 meters of water.

It encountered 52 feet (16 meters) of continuous thick sandstone which further proves the presence of recoverable oil resources. Tullow (Operator), along with its partners Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas Ltd. and Total, will now conduct a detailed evaluation of the data from the Joe-1 discovery alongside data from the Jethro-1 discovery.

They await the outcome of the Carapa well to determine the optimal follow-on exploration and appraisal programme. The non-operated Carapa-1 well on the Kanuku licence is scheduled to commence drilling in late September with the Rowan EXL II jack-up rig and will test the Cretaceous oil play with results expected in the fourth quarter of 2019.

In a release from Tullow, Exploration Director, Angus McCoss commented on Monday: “I am very pleased that we have made back-to-back discoveries in Guyana and successfully opened a new, shallower play in the Upper Tertiary age of the Guyana basin with our second well. The Joe-1 discovery and its surrounding prospects represent another area of significant potential in the Orinduik Block and we are greatly looking forward to the next phase of the programme as we continue to unlock the multi-billion-barrel potential of this acreage.”

Likewise, Eco’s Co-Founder, Colin Kinley shared similar sentiments, stating: “It has greatly increased our chance of success on our upcoming drilling targets and significantly de-risks other resource not previously considered in our interpretation.” Tullow has a 60 per cent stake in the Orinduik Block; Total holds 25 per cent with the remaining 15 per cent being held by Eco.


ExxonMobil’s Country Manager Rod Henson

Meanwhile, ExxonMobil’s 14th discovery in the Tripletail-1 encountered approximately 33 meters of a high-quality oil bearing sandstone reservoir.
The well was drilled in 2,003 meters of water and is located approximately 3 miles northeast of the Longtail discovery. A release from the company informed that, upon completion of operations at Tripletail, the Noble Tom Madden drillship will next drill the Uaru-1 well, located approximately 6 miles east of the Liza field.
However, hot on the agenda are the plans on track to produce up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day at Liza Phase 1 development, utilizing the Liza Destiny FPSO.
“This discovery is another indication that Guyana’s future is bright. But we can only secure that future through stronger collaboration, an improved legislative environment, and a cohesiveness that is most necessary at this time than at any time in our country’s history. The Department of Energy, along with its partner institutions, will continue to work assiduously and efficiently to ensure that we extract the best value from these resources for our nation and people,” Dr. Bynoe said in another release.

ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) 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.

Speaking on the sidelines of an oil and gas conference later that day, ExxonMobil’s Country Manager Rod Henson hailed the discovery as “more good news for Guyana”. Even while highlighting the government’s pleasure with the discovery, Dr. Bynoe reminded: “Guyana’s future is bright but more importantly, the time is ripe for all Guyanese to focus on how they want to see their oil revenues spent and invested.”

The two oil finds announced on Monday brings the total of 16 oil finds in Guyana.