Exxon makes new oil find in Stabroek Block

ExxonMobil yesterday officially announced the recent discovery of oil bearing sands at its Snoek well, in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, which was welcomed by the government.

An ExxonMobil statement said drilling targeted similar aged reservoirs as encountered in previous discoveries at Liza and Payara.

“The latest discovery at Snoek demonstrates the continued success we have achieved in this technically complex play, which is just part of the significant exploration province offshore Guyana,” Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company, was quoted as saying in the company statement.

“As we continue to evaluate the full potential of the broader Stabroek Block, we are also taking the necessary steps to ensure the safe, cost-efficient and responsible development of this world-class resource, which can provide long-term, sustainable benefits to the people of Guyana,” he also said.

The company statement informed that its  affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd, had  commenced drilling of the Snoek well on February 22, 2017 and encountered 82 feet (25 metres) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. The well was safely drilled to 16,978 feet (5,175 metres) in 5,128 feet (1,563 metres) of water on March 18.

The Snoek well is located in the southern portion of the Stabroek Block, approximately 5 miles (9 km) to the southeast of the 2015 Liza-1 discovery.

It said that following completion of the Snoek well, the Stena Carron drillship has moved back to the Liza area to drill the Liza-4 well.

“The news of another find offshore Guyana is a source of great pride and pleasure for all Guyanese,” a statement from the Ministry of Natural Resources noted yesterday.

It added that government is satisfied with the steady and safe progress being made in the execution of the exploratory work programme and congratulated the drillship crew of the Stena Carron for the continued good results of their endeavours.

Stabroek News had reported on Wednesday that preliminary findings from the Snoek-1 well were favourable and that the company was expected to make a formal announcement within the coming weeks.

Sources had told this newspaper that while the Snoek exploration was “still ongoing and it is very, very early,” preliminary indications are that the well has the potential to yield “similar, if not better” results than the Liza wells.

Sources said the company still has to go through the process of analysing its encounter logs but will “definitely be carrying through” with the Snoek project. The company is continuing “further evaluations,” this newspaper was told.

Natural Resource Minister Raphael Trotman on Tuesday had told Cabinet that the US oil giant “could make another significant announcement on its work in Guyana Economic Zone (EEZ) within the next two weeks,” according to a Ministry of the Presidency statement.

Trotman’s statement to Cabinet was made following a presentation by the newly appointed Presidential Advisor on Petroleum, Dr Jan Mangal, on the future of the oil and gas sector and the actions that must be taken to prepare Guyana to manage the sector.

This was followed by a visit on Wednesday from ExxonMobil’s executives, who met with President David Granger. Granger at the meeting pledged his commitment to the development of Guyana’s oil and gas sector in an atmosphere of transparency and trust so that the parliamentary opposition and the people of Guyana are fully involved in the process.

Yesterday government echoed that position.

“The Government of Guyana welcomes the announcement made today by ExxonMobil about the recent discovery of oil bearing sands in the offshore Stabroek Block at the Snoek well,” the government statement said.

“The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, through the Ministry of Natural Resources, will continue to work with ExxonMobil and its partners in the exploration and development of resources in the Stabroek Block of the Guyana Basin even as it continues to engage and update the citizens and important stakeholders about the preparations for petroleum production and other related activities,” it added.

The head of state said that it is important that there are regular and accurate announcements on matters on the development of the sector.

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