Photo: Liza Unity FPSO; Courtesy of SBM Offshore

ExxonMobil digs up three more oil discoveries in Guyanese waters

Oil major ExxonMobil has made three new discoveries offshore Guyana and increased its estimate of the recoverable resource for the Stabroek Block to nearly 11 billion oil-equivalent barrels.

The three discoveries are located southeast of the Liza and Payara developments and bring to five the discoveries made by ExxonMobil in Guyana in 2022. Two oil discoveries at Fangtooth-1 and Lau Lau-1 wells were announced in early January 2022.

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ExxonMobil revealed on Tuesday that the Barreleye-1 well encountered approximately 230 feet (70 meters) of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone and was drilled in 3,840 feet (1,170 meters) of water.

Furthermore, the drilling at Patwa-1 encountered 108 feet (33 meters) of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone and was conducted in 6,315 feet (1,925 meters) of water.

Finally, the Lukanani-1 well encountered 115 feet (35 meters) of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone and was drilled in a water depth of 4,068 feet (1,240 meters). Operations are ongoing at Barreleye-1 and Lukanani-1.

“These discoveries and the updated resource estimate increase the confidence we have in our ambitious exploration strategy for the Stabroek Block and will help to inform our future development plans for the southeast part of the block,” said Liam Mallon, president of ExxonMobil Upstream Company.

ExxonMobil currently has four sanctioned projects offshore Guyana. Liza Phase 1 is producing approximately 130,000 barrels per day using the Liza Destiny floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. Liza Phase 2, which started production in February, is steadily ramping up to its capacity of 220,000 barrels per day using the Liza Unity FPSO.

Earlier this week, the government of Guyana sold its first share of crude oil from the Unity FPSO. The forecasted price for this first lift of the Unity Gold crude for Guyana was $106 per barrel.

The third project, Payara, is expected to produce 220,000 barrels per day; construction on its production vessel, the Prosperity FPSO, is running approximately five months ahead of schedule with start-up likely before year-end 2023. This FPSO is in a shipyard in Singapore where the topside integration phase has recently started.

The fourth project, Yellowtail, was sanctioned earlier in April 2022 and SBM Offshore and ExxonMobil firmed up a contract for the supply of an FPSO for the project, SBM’s largest so far, a day later. The ONE GUYANA FPSO is expected to produce 250,000 barrels per day when it comes online in 2025.

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At least six FPSOs with a production capacity of more than 1 million gross barrels of oil per day are expected to be online on the Stabroek Block in 2027, with the potential for up to 10 FPSOs to develop gross discovered recoverable resources.

Guyana’s Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana is the operator and holds a 45 per cent interest in the Block. Hess Guyana Exploration holds 30 per cent interest, and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana holds 25 per cent interest.