Exxon drilling two new wells offshore Guyana

Noble Tom Madden

Just weeks after its 10th major find, ExxonMobil is gearing up to begin drilling for oil at two separate locations offshore Guyana.

These plans haven’t been affected by the interruption of the gathering of seismic data in the western part of the Liza-1 block following an incursion into Guyana’s waters by the Venezuelan Navy.

According to advertisements in yesterday’s Sunday Stabroek, Exxon’s local subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) is set to begin a three-month drilling operation on January 5th, 2019 at the Tilapia-1 well site within the Stabroek Block. Tilapia-1 is located 3.4 miles (5.5 kilometers) west of the Longtail-1 well. Eleven vessels will be involved in this operation: Noble Tom Madden, M/V Cat Island, M/V Eland, M/V Oryx, Clarence Triche, Liam J Mc Call, Paradise Island, Sanibel Island, Horn Island, Robert Adams and Jack Edwards.

The drill site is approximately 111.4 nautical miles from the coast of Guyana and covers an area of one square kilometer.

Meanwhile, on January 2nd, 2019, EEPGL will begin a three-month operation at the Haimara-1 well site. The Stena Carron is the drillship and it will also be supported by the same vessels being used for the Tilapia-1 well.

On December 3rd, ExxonMobil announced that it had made its 10th discovery offshore Guyana since May 2015  and increased its estimate of the discovered recoverable resource for the Stabroek Block to more than 5 billion oil-equivalent barrels.  The 10th well was Pluma-1.

 “The discovery of a resource base of more than 5 billion oil-equivalent barrels in less than four years is a testament of our technical expertise and rigorous evaluation and pursuit of high-potential, high-risk opportunities in this frontier area,” said Neil Chapman, ExxonMobil senior vice president. “We will continue to apply what we’ve learned to identify additional exploration prospects and potential future discoveries that will deliver significant value to Guyanese people, our partners and shareholders.”

Exxon had said that the Pluma-1 well encountered approximately 121 feet (37 meters) of high-quality hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone reservoir. The Noble Tom Madden drillship began drilling on Nov. 1. The well is located approximately 17 miles (27 kilometers) south of the Turbot-1 well.

“Together with the government and people of Guyana, we are continuing to grow the value of the Stabroek Block for Guyana, our partners and ExxonMobil with successful exploration investments,” Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company had said.

The Liza Phase 1 development is expected to begin producing up to 120,000 barrels oil per day by early 2020, utilizing the Liza Destiny floating storage, production and offloading vessel.

The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometers). ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is operator and holds 45 percent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30 percent interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25 percent interest.

The Venezuelan Navy interrupted the Exxon-led effort to map the sea floor on Dec. 22.  Guyana has lodged a protest with the Caracas. The US has also called on Venezuela to respect Guyana’s sovereignty.

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