–as ExxonMobil makes another discovery at the Stabroek Block
EXXONMOBIL Guyana has made yet another lucrative oil discovery within the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, pushing the nation’s petroleum resources well over 10 billion oil-equivalent barrels.
The latest find at the Cataback-1 well brings the total discoveries within the Stabroek Block to more than 20.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the oil giant said that the Cataback-1 well encountered 243 feet (74 meters) of net pay in high quality hydrocarbon bearing sandstone reservoirs.
It is located approximately 3.7 miles (six kilometres) east of Turbot-1 and was drilled in 5,928 feet (1,807 meters) of water by the Noble Tom Madden.
In a subsequent statement, the Government of Guyana, via the Ministry of Natural Resources, welcomed the discovery and acknowledged the fact that Guyana currently has the third highest oil reserves in the Latin America and Caribbean Region.
“This new recoverable resource estimate includes discoveries made in Guyana through early September 2021. In addition, the new discovery offshore Guyana at the Cataback-1 well, now indicated that there is a total of 25 economically viable discoveries within the Stabroek Block to-date,” Natural Resources Minister, Vickram Bharrat, said in a statement on Thursday.
According to the minister, in transforming the hydrocarbons sector, the government remains committed to enhancing the exploration and development of Guyana’s oil and gas resources.
“Therefore, as Minister of Natural Resources with responsibility for Petroleum, I would like to once again remind all Guyanese and stakeholders that the oil and gas investments and activities will be undertaken in a manner that is in keeping with international best practices for compliance and transparency within the petroleum sector,” Minister Bharrat said.
Additionally, Bharrat said that the Dr. Irfaan Ali-led administration will be working continually through consultations to enhance local content with policies and legislation that will create a sustainable development pathway to ensure maximum economic benefits for all Guyanese.
Guyana’s oil production and extraction operations are expected to increase significantly with the arrival of the Liza Unity, the second Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) to be operated in Guyana. It has already been constructed and is currently en route to Guyana.
Minister Bharrat confirmed that the FPSO is already halfway to Guyana and it is expected to arrive offshore in mid-November 2021 with an anticipated start-up of production in early 2022.
The Liza Unity FPSO has a capacity of approximately 220,000 barrels of oil per day, which will supplement the work of the Liza Destiny FPSO, which is currently producing approximately 120,000 barrels of oil per day, facilitating a production of approximately 330,000 barrels of oil per day in 2022.
Meanwhile, in response to the new oil find, the Senior Vice President of Exploration and New Ventures at ExxonMobil, Mike Cousins, said that the discovery adds to the resources in the Turbot/Tripletail area, enhancing the potential of the project.
“Our proprietary technologies, global exploration experience and drilling capabilities continue to yield positive results in the Stabroek Block, which will generate additional value for Guyana,” Cousins said.
Similarly, President of ExxonMobil Guyana, Alistair Routledge, said that the latest oil find coupled with the company’s existing projects continue to advance the Guyanese economy.
“For us, it is very important that the people of Guyana feel the benefit of not just the revenues that are generated from the natural resource, but also from the investment activities, the development activities, the work that’s needed to produce the oil and gas,” Routledge said.
He continued: “And so, again, you look back and you say we’ve made remarkable progress since 2015; since that first discovery, more than US$500 million has been spent with local companies; more than 800 local businesses and companies are involved in the supply chain for our business.
These are significant milestones in a very short space of time when you think of the scale of the industry and what it takes to move forward. And remember, we only have one project so far.”
TRIPLE THE REVENUE STREAM
The ExxonMobil official said that with the arrival and operation of the Liza Unity FPSO, the company expects to almost triple its revenue stream to the Guyana government, which would then have more funds to invest whether in education, infrastructure and other projects for the benefit of all the citizens.
Routledge said too that the gas-to-energy project is another avenue for the provision of significant benefits to the Guyanese people. Those benefits would include the availability of hundreds of jobs during the construction phase.
“We anticipate that we’ll get to the point of full funding of that project next year in 2022, at that point then we would expect that there will be the beginning of early work in Region Three [Essequibo Islands-West Demerara],” Routledge said.
He added: “[The project] would commence from the point of the landing location of the pipeline; making sure that the route for the pipeline is prepared to several works in the area of the Wales estate; preparing for the power plant, which is another part of the scope.”
Routledge boasted that ExxonMobil Guyana’s contribution to the local economy extends beyond its operational activities to include strategic community investments such as the Greater Guyana Initiative (GGI), which is a G$20-billion-dollar programme geared at building capacity across sectors.
Already, he said that there are ongoing projects with the University of Guyana, the Technical Vocational Education Training institutions (TVETs) and the Centre for Local Business Development, benefitting more than 3,000 individuals.
Earnings and investments made by the petroleum sector is poised for continued growth as Guyana looks to double its oil production by 2025.
ExxonMobil’s affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is the main operator, holding some 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.
In the meantime, ExxonMobil Guyana and its partners are gearing up to embark on the largest ever exploration campaign, which will see the drilling of multiple wells across the Guyana basin.