…adds to previously estimated 5.5 billion barrels of discovered recoverable resource
…company exploring plans to bring 4th drillship
U.S oil giant ExxonMobil made a new oil discovery offshore Guyana at the Yellowtail-1 well on Thursday, marking the 13th discovery on the Stabroek Block.
In making the announcement, ExxonMobil said the discovery adds to the recoverable resource of approximately 5.5 billion oil-equivalent barrels on the Stabroek Block. Yellowtail-1 is the fifth discovery in the Turbot area, which ExxonMobil expects to become a major development hub.
“Similar to the Liza area, successive discoveries in the Turbot area have continuously grown its shared value,” said Mike Cousins, Senior Vice President of ExxonMobil Exploration and New Ventures. “Our success here can be attributed to our industry-leading upstream capabilities, the strength of our partnerships and our ongoing commitment to growing Guyana’s offshore potential,” he added.
The oil company explained that Yellowtail-1 encountered approximately 292 feet (89 meters) of high-quality oil bearing sandstone reservoir and was drilled to a depth of 18,445 feet (5,622 meters) in 6,046 feet (1,843 meters) of water.
The well, it further explained, is located approximately 6 miles (10 kilometers) northwest of the Tilapia discovery. The Noble Tom Madden began drilling the Yellowtail well on March 27. It will next drill the Hammerhead-2 well.
Head of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe, welcomed the announcements. He said his department will monitor the developments closely to ensure that Guyanese reap the benefits.
“Guyana continues to receive positive news with the announcement of these oil finds offshore, but of course, as I have said previously, the real substance of these finds will accrue only when citizens are able to benefit directly or indirectly from these discoveries. While we are already seeing substantial uptick in investment ventures, we as a Department we will be relentless in ensuring that we optimise the returns from these resources for all of Guyana,” Dr. Bynoe said.
In February, ExxonMobil announced its 11th and 12th discoveries offshore Guyana at the Tilapia-1 and Haimara-1 wells in the southwest section of the Stabroek Block. Dr. Bynoe said that those discoveries are indications of Guyana’s rich resources.
“The rate of these oil discoveries demonstrates the magnitude of Guyana’s natural resources. For years, Guyanese have heard of the country’s oil potential and we are now seeing it manifesting. The Department of Energy intends to employ international best practice in managing this resource and the monies that will be derived therefrom to give Guyanese ‘the good life’ that is in consonance with the construct of the Green State Development Strategy” Dr. Bynoe explained.
ExxonMobil said exploration and development activities will continue at other locations on the Stabroek Block. “The Stena Carron is currently completing a well test at the Longtail-1 discovery and upon completion will next drill the Hammerhead-3 well. Later in 2019, the Stena Carron will drill a second well at the Ranger discovery. The Noble Bob Douglas drillship is currently completing development drilling operations for the Liza Phase 1 development,” the oil giant detailed.
ExxonMobil is also evaluating plans to add another exploration drillship, bringing the number of drillships offshore Guyana to four.
According to the company, there is potential for at least five floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels on the Stabroek Block producing more than 750,000 barrels of oil per day by 2025. It said too that startup of the Liza Phase 1 development is on track to begin by the first quarter of 2020 and will produce up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day utilizing the Liza Destiny FPSO, which is expected to arrive in country in the third quarter.
Liza Phase 2 is expected to startup by mid-2022. “A final investment decision is expected soon subject to government and regulatory approvals. Upon approval, the project plans to use the Liza Unity FPSO to produce up to 220,000 barrels per day. Sanctioning of a third development, Payara, is also expected in 2019, with startup projected for 2023,” ExxonMobil stated.
The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometers). ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is operator and holds 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30 percent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds 25 per cent interest.
ExxonMobil uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. It holds an industry-leading inventory of resources and is one of the largest refiners and marketers of petroleum products.