ExxonMobil said last week it has added two oil and natural gas discoveries offshore Guyana in the prolific Stabroek block.

The Fangtooth-1 well, drilled in 6,030 feet of water, encountered 164 feet (50 meters) of oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs, the energy major said. The Lau Lau-1 well, in 4,793 feet of water, encountered 315 feet of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone reservoirs. Fangtooth is about 11 miles northwest of the Liza field, while Lau Lau is 42 miles southeast of the field.

The two discoveries add to estimated recoverable resources for Stabroek, which extends across 6.6 million acres, at 10 billion boe. Fangtooth and Lau Lau bring total discoveries to around two dozen.

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“Initial results from the Fangtooth and Lau Lau wells are a positive sign for Guyana and continue to demonstrate the potential for the country’s growing oil and gas sector, ExxonMobil and our co-venturers in the Stabroek block,” said Senior Vice President Mike Cousins of Exploration and New Ventures.

“The Fangtooth discovery is a successful result of our strategy to test deeper prospectivity, and the Lau Lau discovery adds to the large inventory of development opportunities in the southeast part of the Stabroek block.

“Both discoveries increase our understanding of the resource, our continued confidence in the block’s exploration potential and our view that the many discoveries to date could result in up to 10 development projects.”

Building Out Infrastructure

Fangtooth was drilled by the Stena DrillMAX, and Lau Lau was drilled by the Noble Don Taylor, which are two of six drillships supporting exploration and development drilling across three blocks that ExxonMobil operates offshore Guyana.

Separately, progress also continues on infrastructure for future field development. The Liza Unity floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel is undergoing hookup and commissioning after arriving in October, ExxonMobil noted. 

The first offshore Guyana project, Liza Phase 1, began producing in late 2019, with Liza Phase 2, using Unity, on target to begin producing by the end of March. 

Targeted peak production using Unity is estimated at 220,000 boe/d.

The hull for the Prosperity FPSO vessel, the third project on Stabroek at the Payara field, is complete and topside construction activities are ongoing in Singapore for planned production start-up in 2024, ExxonMobil said. The Field Development Plan and Environmental Impact Assessment for the fourth potential project, Yellowtail, is awaiting government review.

“These new projects continue to drive investment in Guyana’s growing economy,” ExxonMobil noted, with more than 3,200 Guyanese employed to support project activities. Key contractors “have spent more than $540 million with more than 800 local companies since 2015.”

ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd. is the operator and holds 45% interest. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds a 30% stake, and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Ltd. has a 25% interest.