ExxonMobil found 2 high-quality reservoirs offshore Guyana in 2020 – Hess

By Guyana Times,

ExxonMobil’s partner in the Stabroek block, Hess Corporation has revealed that two high-quality reservoirs offshore Guyana were found in 2020 around the time the company was appraising the Yellowtail-2 well.

This was contained in Hess’s second-quarter financial filings, in which the company reported a $320 million loss. In its filings, Hess revealed that the Stena Carron drillship recently completed drilling at the Yellowtail-2 well.

According to Hess, one of the high-quality oil reservoirs is adjacent to the Yellowtail field and the other below. This, according to the company, is further proof of the quality of the basin, and the reservoirs are likely to be developed in the future. In fact, the finds are currently being evaluated. Hess also gave some updates on the Redtail exploration well.

The company informed in the filings that the Noble Don Taylor commenced drilling of the Redtail exploration well, which is 1.25 miles northwest of Yellowtail-1, in July. The other two drill ships – the Noble Bob Douglas and the Noble Tom Madden, are drilling and completing Liza Phase 1 and Phase 2.

COVID-19 impact

The company also spoke about the impact that COVID-19 travel restrictions have had on the drilling operations in the block. Some of the effects are that Exxon was forced to keep two drill ships idle. However, they both resumed work by the end of the second quarter.

Moreover, Exxon is currently commissioning water injection equipment to utilise natural gas. Nevertheless, the delayed government approval for the Payara project is likely to delay production start-up by six to 12 months.

However, the schedule for phase two of the Liza field development, which will use the Liza Unity Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, remains undisturbed.

“As previously announced, some activities for a third development, Payara, with expected production capacity of 220,000 gross bopd, have been deferred pending Government approval of the project creating a potential delay in production start-up of six to 12 months.”

“Phase two of the Liza Field development, which will utilise the Liza Unity FPSO with an expected capacity of 220,000 gross bopd remains on target to achieve first oil in early 2022,” Hess said.

The Liza phase two project will contain approximately 30 wells, after receiving the requisite approvals from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Exxon made five discoveries in Guyana last year. These discoveries have pushed the total estimated recoverable barrels of oil equivalent to over six billion.

The company has only announced one discovery for 2020, the Uaru discovery which it made in January. Uaru is ExxonMobil’s 16th oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Uaru-1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering approximately 94 feet (29 metres) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir and was drilled in 6342 feet (1933 metres) of water.

Guyana only began producing oil last year, lifting its first million barrels of profit oil in February with oil tanker Cap Philippe transporting it from the Liza Destiny FPSO, and received its first payment the next month.

That money, G$11.4 billion, constituted Guyana’s first oil revenue-based earnings from production in the Liza field. It was deposited in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in March of this year.

An additional sum of G$7.3 billion was subsequently deposited, as well as royalty payments. This money is still sitting in the fund, earning interest as it is inaccessible until Guyana’s current political crisis is resolved and a parliament convened.

Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd holds a 30 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block, while ExxonMobil’s affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) has 45 per cent interest and is also the operator of the 6.6 million-acre block. CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China’s State-owned CNOOC Limited, holds the remaining 25 per cent interest. (G3)

Main photo: The Stena Carron is one of several ships working in the Stabroek Block

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