The oil and gas discoveries offshore South America’s Guyana continue to expand, with ExxonMobil making its 18th in the estimable Stabroek Block. 

The Redtail-1 well discovery may add to estimated Stabroek recoverable resources, which already stood at more than 8 billion boe. Stabroek covers an estimated 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometers). 

“Our Stabroek Block exploration program continues to identify high quality reservoirs in close proximity to previous discoveries, establishing efficient opportunities for new projects in Guyana,” said Senior Vice President Mike Cousins of Exploration and New Ventures. “Developing these projects remains an integral part of ExxonMobil and our co-venturers’ long-term growth plans and a source of significant value for Guyana.”

Redtail-1 encountered 232 feet of oil bearing sandstone and was drilled in 6,164 feet of water. The well is 1.5 miles northwest of the Yellowtail discovery. 

In addition to the Redtail-1 discovery, ExxonMobil said a second Yellowtail well encountered 69 feet of net pay in “newly identified, high quality oil bearing reservoirs among the original Yellowtail-1 discovery intervals. This resource is currently being evaluated for development in conjunction with nearby discoveries.”

ExxonMobil made the first commercial discovery in Guyana in 2015 and started production last December from the Liza Destiny floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO), which can produce up to 120,000 boe/d. Liza Phase 2 is progressing and set to begin operations in 2022 with production of up to 220,000 boe/d. 

Construction activities also are underway in Singapore on the Liza Unity FPSO, ExxonMobil said. A third production vessel for the Payara development north of the Liza project, with capacity of 220,000 boe/d, is on hold pending government approval.

ExxonMobil said about 80 Guyanese employees, contractors and subcontractors took part in Redtail activities offshore. More than 2,000 Guyanese and 600 local suppliers also are supporting ExxonMobil activities in the country. Guyanese staff have completed more than 350,000 hours of training in Guyana, Brazil, Canada, Singapore and the United States, the major noted.

ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd. operates and holds a 45% interest in Stabroek. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. has a 30% stake, while CNOOC Ltd. subsidiary CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Ltd. holds 25%.