ExxonMobil, which rode the wave for worldwide exploration last year in part because of the prolific Guyana portfolio, announced another discovery offshore the South American country, where recoverable resources already were estimated at more than 8 billion boe.
ExxonMobil said Monday it clinched the 16th discovery in the Stabroek Block northeast of the producing Liza field at the Uaru exploration well. The Uaru discovery is the first of the year; ExxonMobil and its partners had made 15 discoveries in Stabroek through 2019.
The Uaru resources are to be added to the current 8 billion boe estimate at a later date, ExxonMobil said. Stabroek covers an estimated 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometers).
“With recent high quality finds at Tripletail and Mako contributing to our recoverable resources, our investments will continue to provide benefits for the people of Guyana,” said ExxonMobil’s Mike Cousins, senior vice president of exploration and new ventures. “The Uaru discovery is another positive step as we begin a new decade with the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and our co-venturers.”
Uaru encountered 94 feet (29 meters) of oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. The well, drilled in 6,342 feet (1,933 meters) of water, is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) northeast of the Liza field, which began producing in December.
Production from the Liza Phase 1 development is ramping up and is expected to produce up to 120,000 b/d of oil in the coming months using the Liza Destiny floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO).
The Liza Unity FPSO, to be employed for the second phase of Liza development with capacity of 220,000 b/d, is under construction and expected to start production by mid-2022.
Pending government approvals and project sanctioning of a third development, output from the Payara field north of the Liza discoveries could start as early as 2023, reaching an estimated 220,000 b/d, ExxonMobil noted.
“Four drillships in Guyana continue to explore and appraise new resources as well as develop the resources within approved projects. A fifth drillship is expected to be deployed later this year.”
ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd. operates Stabroek and holds 45% interest. Hess Corp.’s Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. has a 30% stake, while CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Ltd., a subsidiary of China’s CNOOC Ltd., holds a 25% interest.
ExxonMobil, considered the No. 1 global explorer last year because of Guyana success, has improved opportunities there for the past few years. Hess at No. 2 and CNOOC at No. 3 were ranked behind ExxonMobil for exploration success last year in terms of value creation from new discoveries, each benefiting from their partnership in Stabroek.