HESS Corporation, partner of ExxonMobil in the Stabroek Block, has announced finds of “high quality reservoirs” at Yellowtail-2, further cementing confidence in the “world class quality” of the Guyana basin.
In its 2020 Second Quarter Operational Report on Wednesday, the Company revealed that though COVID-19 related travel restrictions temporarily idled two drillships, both drillships resumed drilling operations by the end of the second quarter. As a result, the Stena Carron rig recently completed appraisal drilling at Yellowtail-2, located 1 mile southeast of Yellowtail-1. Appraisal drilling is drilling done when oil or gas has been discovered, to assess how much there is, how big the field is, the possible rate of production, and the properties of the oil or gas.
“The well identified two additional high-quality reservoirs, one adjacent to, and the other below the Yellowtail Field, further demonstrating the world class quality of this basin. This additional resource is currently being evaluated and will help form the basis for a potential future development,” the report stated. The Yellowtail discovery was announced in April 2019, it is ExxonMobil’s 13th oil discovery in the Stabroek Block.
Meanwhile, Hess also announced that the Noble Don Taylor commenced drilling of the Redtail exploration well, which is 1.25 miles northwest of Yellowtail-1, in July. The other two drillships, the Noble Bob Douglas and the Noble Tom Madden, are drilling and completing Liza Phase 1 and Phase 2 development wells. In keeping with previous reports from ExxonMobil, the report noted that the Corporation’s net production from the Liza Field, which commenced in December 2019, averaged 22,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in the second quarter of 2020.
It was also indicated that the operator, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), is currently commissioning water injection equipment and bringing natural gas injection fully online that should enable the Liza Destiny Floating Production, Offloading, And Storage vessel (FPSO) to reach its capacity of 120,000 gross bopd in August.
The need comes after ExxonMobil encountered issues with its gas compressor after it increased production in mid-May. Key specialist technicians were required to repair the units but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, repairs were initially delayed.
Senior Director of Public and Government Affairs at ExxonMobil Guyana, Deedra Moe, told this newspaper earlier this month that since making some initial repairs, 85 per cent of the produced gas from the reservoir is now being injected and production has been ramped up.
Hess stated, too, that Phase 2 of the Liza Field development, which will utilize the Liza Unity FPSO with an expected capacity of 220,000 gross bopd, remains on target to achieve first oil in early 2022.
As previously announced, some activities for a third development, Payara, with expected production capacity of 220,000 gross bopd, have been deferred pending government approval of the project, creating a potential delay in production startup of six to twelve months. EEPGL, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, holds a 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block, while Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd, holds another 30 per cent interest, and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited, the remaining 25 per cent.