OUR GREAT MINDS

    by Tina Olivero

    Guyana IS BOOMING! ExxonMobil Finds More Oil

    U.S. oil major ExxonMobil has made yet another oil discovery at the mega-Stabroek offshore block in Guyana. This adds to the unprecedented discovery of nine billion barrels of oil equivalent in the region.

    ExxonMobil is firmly established in Guyana, operating an office in Georgetown, with numerous ongoing exploration and development operations offshore. ExxonMobil Guyana has made 18 discoveries since May 2015 and begun production in December 2019 from the Liza Phase 1 development.

    ExxonMobil is the operator of the Stabroek, Canje and Kaieteur Blocks offshore Guyana.

    This new discovery is located approximately 4 miles southeast of the Uaru-1 discovery that was announced in January 2020 and approximately 3 miles west of the Yellowtail field. Whiptail-1 is being drilled in 5,889 feet (1,795 meters) of water by Stena Drilling’s Stena DrillMAX drillship.

    “This discovery increases our confidence in the resource size and quality in the southeast area of the Stabroek Block and could form the basis for a future development as we continue to evaluate the best sequence of development opportunities within the block,” said Mike Cousins, senior vice president of exploration and new ventures at ExxonMobil.

    Guyana currently has one oil production unit, the Liza Destiny FPSO at Exxon’s Stabroek Block, which has been in production since December 2019. It produces around 120,000 barrels of oil per day. Additional FPSOs are planned to be deployed in the coming years to develop the discovered oil reserves. ExxonMobil predicts at least six projects online by 2027 and sees potential for up to 10 projects.

    Liza Phase 1 Project – Description

    • The Liza Phase 1 development is approximately 190 kilometers offshore in water depths of 1,500– 1,900 meters.
    • The project includes a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, Liza Destiny; designed to produce up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day, with storage capacity of up to 1.6 million barrels.
    • There are four drill centers with 17 wells in total; eight oil producing wells, six water injection wells, and three gas reinjection wells.

    Liza Phase 2 Project – Description

    • The development involves a second floating, production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO), Liza Unity; designed to produce up to 220,000 barrels of oil per day.
    • The development is similar to that of Liza phase 1 but with a total of six drill centers with approximately 30 wells, including 15 oil producing wells, nine water injection wells and six gas injection wells. Liza Phase 2 startup is expected in mid-2022.


    The next development planned for the startup is the Liza Phase 2, which is on target for early 2022. It will be developed using the SBM Offshore supplied Liza Unity FPSO which is sailing from Singapore to Guyana in 2021. The Unity has a production capacity of approximately 220,000 barrels of oil per day.

    Exxon further said that the hull for the Prosperity FPSO vessel, destined for the Payara development in the same block, is complete, and topsides construction activities are ongoing in Singapore with a startup target of 2024.

    The first Payara development well was spudded in June 2021, and the offshore SURF installation will begin in 3Q 2021.

    Payara Project – Description

    • The Payara development plan includes a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, named Prosperity; it is expected to produce 220,000 barrels per day. 
    • The development is similar to that of Liza phase 1 and 2, Payara will have up to 45 wells, including production wells, water injection wells and gas injection wells.
    • Startup is expected in 2024.

    Yellowtail – The Forth Discovery

    The fourth discovery expected to be developed is the Yellowtail, with an anticipated startup in 2025. The project will develop the Yellowtail and Redtail fields, which are located about 19 miles (30 kilometers) southeast of the Liza developments, and potentially adjacent resources.

    ExxonMobil and its key contractors have spent approximately US$388 million with more than 800 local companies since 2015.

    Exxon operates the Stabroek block with 45% interest. U.S. firm Hess holds 30% interest and China’s CNOOC holds 25% percent interest.

    FPSO: Proven Methodology for Guyana

    According to Jim McCaul, head of IMA/WER and an expert on Floating Production Systems for more than three decades, “Guyana Has a Huge Appetite for FPSOs,” summarizing:

    • The Stabroek Block, which covers 26,800 sq km containing multiple prospects and plays.
    • There are 20+ discoveries to date with 9 billion boe estimated recoverable resources.
    • Up to 10 VLCC-size FPSOs are expected to be required for full field development.
    • There is one FPSO now in service, Liza Destiny with 120,000 b/d oil production capacity.
    • There are two FPSOs on order; Liza Unity and Prosperity, each with 220,000 b/d oil production capacity.
    • Procurement for a fourth FPSO with 220,000 to 250,000 b/d oil production capacity is being negotiated.
    • There are plans for three to six more large capacity FPSOs to be contracted for Stabroek Block within this decade.

    IMA/WER’s floating production report has up-to-date details and contracting status for more than 200 floater projects in the planning stage. Around 55% of these envisage use of an FPSO. Another 10% will require a production semi. The rest are LNG and floating storage projects.

    The report also has details for 44 production or storage floaters on order, more than 300 floating production units in service and 44 production floaters available for redeployment contracts.

    SUMMARY: Discoveries in the Stabroek Block

    • The Liza discovery was announced in May 2015. Liza-1 well was the first significant oil find offshore Guyana. It encountered more than 295 feet (90 meters) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. It was safely drilled to 17,825 feet (5,433 meters) in 5,719 feet (1,743 meters) of water. 
    • The Payara discovery was announced in January 2017. Payara is ExxonMobil’s second oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Payara- 1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering more than 95 feet (29 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. It was safely drilled to 18,080 feet (5,512 meters) in 6,660 feet (2,030 meters) of water.
    • The Snoek discovery was announced in March 2017. Snoek is ExxonMobil’s third oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Snoek- 1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering 82 feet (25 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. The well was safely drilled to 16,978 feet (5,175 meters) in 5,128 feet (1,563 meters) of water.
    • The Liza Deep discovery was announced in January 2017. An appraisal well, Liza-3, identified an additional high quality, deeper reservoir directly below the Liza field, which is estimated to contain between 100-150 million oil equivalent barrels.
    • The Turbot discovery was announced in October 2017. Turbot is ExxonMobil’s fifth oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Turbot- 1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering 75 feet (23 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. The well was safely drilled to 18,445 feet (5,622 meters) in 5,912 feet (1,802 meters) of water.
    • The Ranger discovery was announced in January 2018. Ranger is ExxonMobil’s sixth oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Ranger- 1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering approximately 230 feet (70 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing carbonate reservoir. The well was safely drilled to 21,161 feet (6,450 meters) depth in 8,973 feet (2,735 meters) of water. This discovery demonstrated our ultra deepwater and carbonate exploration capabilities and it proved a new play concept for the Stabroek Block.
    • The Pacora discovery was announced in February 2018. Pacora is ExxonMobil’s seventh oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Pacora- 1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering approximately 65 feet (20 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. The well was safely drilled to 18,363 feet (5,597 meters) depth in 6,781 feet (2,067 meters) of water.
    • The Longtail discovery was announced in June 2018. Longtail is ExxonMobil’s eighth oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Longtail- 1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering approximately 256 feet (78 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. The well was safely drilled to 18,057 feet (5,504 meters) depth in 6,365 feet (1,940 meters) of water.
    • The Hammerhead discovery was announced in Aug 2018. Hammerhead is ExxonMobil’s ninth oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Hammerhead- 1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering approximately 197 feet (60 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. The well was safely drilled to 13,862 feet (4,225 meters) depth in 3,773 feet (1,150 meters) of water.
    • The Pluma discovery was announced in December 2018. Pluma is ExxonMobil’s 10th oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Pluma- 1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering approximately 121 feet (37 meters) of high-quality hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone reservoir. Pluma-1 reached a depth of 16,447 feet (5,013 meters) in 3,340 feet (1,018 meters) of water.
    • The Tilapia discovery was announced in February 2019. Tilapia is ExxonMobil’s 11th oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Tilapia- 1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering approximately 305 feet (93 meters) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir and was drilled to a depth of 18,786 feet (5,726 meters) in 5,850 feet (1,783 meters) of water.
    • The Haimara discovery was announced in February 2019. Haimara is ExxonMobil’s 12th oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Haimara- 1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering approximately 207 feet (63 meters) of high-quality, gas-condensate bearing sandstone reservoir. The well was drilled to a depth of 18,289 feet (5,575 meters) in 4,590 feet (1,399 meters) of water.
    • The Yellowtail discovery was announced in April 2019. Yellowtail is ExxonMobil’s 13th oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Yellowtail- 1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering approximately 292 feet (89 meters) of high-quality oil bearing sandstone reservoir and was drilled to a depth of 18,445 feet (5,622 meters) in 6,046 feet (1,843 meters) of water.
    • The Tripletail discovery was announced in September 2019. Tripletail is ExxonMobil’s 14th oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Tripletail- 1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering approximately 108 feet (33 meters) of a high-quality oil bearing sandstone reservoir and was drilled in 6,572 feet (2,003 meters) of water.
    • The Mako discovery was announced in December 2019. Mako is ExxonMobil’s 15th oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Mako- 1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering approximately 164 feet (50 meters) of a high-quality oil bearing sandstone reservoir and was drilled in 5,315 feet (1,620 meters) of water.
    • The Uaru discovery was announced in January 2020. 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 meters) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir and was drilled in 6,342 feet (1,933 meters) of water.
    • The Yellowtail-2 well encountered 69 feet (21 meters) of net pay in a newly identified, high quality oil bearing reservoirs among the original Yellowtail-1 discovery intervals. This is ExxonMobil’s 17th oil discovery in the Stabroek Block.
    • The Redtail discovery was announced in September 2020. Redtail is ExxonMobil’s 18th oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Redtail-1 well encountered approximately 232 feet (70 meters) of high-quality oil bearing sandstone and was drilled in 6,164 feet (1,878 meters) of water. 
    • The gross recoverable resource for the Stabroek Block is now estimated to be more than eight billion oil equivalent barrels, including Liza and other successful exploration wells on Payara, Liza deep, Snoek, Turbot, Ranger, Pacora, Longtail, Hammerhead, Pluma, Tilapia, Haimara, Yellowtail, Tripletail and Mako.


      SOURCE & IMAGES: ExxonMobil, NOIA, OE Digital




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