— as gov’t recommits to sustainably developing petroleum sector
OIL GIANT, ExxonMobil, on Wednesday, announced the discovery of its 20th oil find offshore Guyana. The latest detection was made at the Longtail-3 site in the Stabroek Block.
A statement from ExxonMobil said that drilling at Longtail-3 encountered 230 feet (70 meters) of net pay, including newly identified, high quality hydrocarbon bearing reservoirs below the original Longtail-1 discovery intervals. It specified that the well is located approximately two miles (3.5 kilometers) south of the Longtail-1 well. It was drilled in more than 6,100 feet (1860 meters) of water by the Stena DrillMAX. “Longtail-3, combined with our recent discovery at Uaru-2, has the potential to increase our resource estimate within the Stabroek block, demonstrating further growth of this world-class resource and our high-potential development opportunities offshore Guyana,” said Mike Cousins, Senior Vice-President of Exploration and New Ventures at ExxonMobil. He added: “We will continue to leverage our core competitive advantages in our ongoing exploration campaign, delivering substantial value to the Guyanese people, our partners and shareholders.”
According to ExxonMobil, the Longtail-1 discovery in the Stabroek Block was drilled in 2018, encountering approximately 256 feet (78 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir.
Minister of Natural Resources with responsibility for the Petroleum Sector, Vickram Bharrat, welcomed the discovery on behalf of the Government of Guyana. He said that “The Longtail-3 discovery will add to the previously announced gross discovered recoverable resource estimate for the block, which is currently estimated to be over nine billion oil-equivalent barrels.”
Bharrat noted that the government anticipates that this new development will further increase the potentials for more floating production storage and offloading vessels (FPSO). Additionally, the minister said that this will increase the estimated recoverable resource given by the operator, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL).
To this end, Bharrat noted that the ministry, along with the regulatory agencies within the petroleum sector, will continue to work with other operators to expedite their drill programme, while seeking to expand the sector.
The Natural Resources Minister recommitted the government’s efforts to ensuring the sustainable exploration and development of Guyana’s Oil and Gas Resources.
COMPLIANCE AND TRANSPARENCY
“This will be done in keeping with the highest level of compliance and transparency to ensure that the benefits from this sector enhance the lives of all Guyanese,” Bharrat added.
Nonetheless, ExxonMobil said that it deployed two additional drill ships in the first quarter of 2021, the Stena DrillMAX and the Noble Sam Croft, to enable further exploration and evaluation, while continuing development drilling activities offshore Guyana. As the entity advances its 15-well campaign in the Stabroek block, DrillMAX will move to Whiptail-1, while the Noble Sam Croft supports development drilling for Liza Phase 2.
“In other drilling activity in the Stabroek Block, the Mako-2 evaluation well confirmed the quality, thickness and areal extent of the reservoir. When integrated with the previously announced discovery at Uaru-2, the data supports a potential fifth FPSO vessel in the area east of the Liza complex. The Koebi-1 exploration well in the Stabroek block has shown evidence of non-commercial hydrocarbons. Further, ExxonMobil in its statement related that by the first quarter of this year, in excess of 2,600 Guyanese and 600 local suppliers were supporting the company’s activities in country.
“Guyanese staff have completed more than 40,000 hours of training in Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States,” Exxon noted.
The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometers). ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is the operator and holds 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds 25 per cent interest.
Guyana welcomed its historic draw of first oil in December 2019, and sold its first one million barrels of crude on February 19, 2020, raking in nearly US$55 million. In its second million-barrel sale, the country received US$35 million, and an additional US$46 million as proceeds from the sale of its third million-barrel of crude.
These deposits, along with royalties received from the sector, have been sitting untouched in a Natural Resources Fund at the US Federal Reserve Bank. The emergence of an Oil and Gas sector has propelled the country into becoming one of the richest nations in the hemisphere.