Exploration/discoveries

ExxonMobil Find Ups Reserves at Guyana’s Prolific Stabroek Block

Up to 10 FPSOs could be needed to fully develop the discovered resource base in the area.

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More FPSOs will be needed to produce discovered reserves off Guyana.

ExxonMobil will add to the previously announced gross discovered recoverable resource estimate for the block of around 9 billion BOE via a discovery with its Uaru-2 well. The probe encountered 120 ft of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir, including newly identified intervals below the original Uaru-1 discovery. The well was drilled in 5,659 ft of water and is located approximately 6.8 miles south of the Uaru-1 well. That well, drilled in January 2020, encountered 94 ft of oil-bearing sandstone.

“The Uaru-2 discovery will add to the discovered recoverable resource estimate of approximately 9 billion barrels of oil equivalent,” said John Hess, chief executive of Hess Corporation, a partner in Stabroek. “We expect to have at least six FPSOs on the Stabroek Block by 2027, with the potential for up to 10 FPSOs to develop the current discovered recoverable resource base.”

Production from the Liza Phase 1 development on the Stabroek Block utilizing the Liza Destiny FPSO reached its nameplate capacity of 120,000 gross B/D of oil in December 2020 and remained at this level during the first quarter of 2021. In mid-April, production from the FPSO was curtailed for several days after a minor leak was detected in the flash gas compressor discharge silencer.

Production has since ramped back up and is expected to remain in the range of 100,000 to 110,000 gross B/D until repairs to the discharge silencer are completed in approximately 3 months. Following this repair, production is expected to return to, or above, nameplate capacity.

Startup of Liza Phase 2 remains on track for early 2022 utilizing the Liza Unity FPSO with production capacity of approximately 220,000 gross B/D. A third development at the Payara Field was sanctioned in September 2020 that will utilize the Prosperity FPSO with production capacity of 220,000 gross B/D. First oil is expected in 2024. The hull for the Prosperity is complete, and topsides construction activities have begun in Singapore.

A fourth development, Yellowtail, has been identified on the Stabroek Block with anticipated startup in 2025, pending government approvals and project sanctioning. This project will develop the Yellowtail and Redtail fields, which are located approximately 19 miles southeast of the Liza developments.

These new projects continue to drive investment in the Guyanese economy. More than 2,300 Guyanese are now supporting project activities onshore and offshore, which reflects a more than 20% increase since the end of 2019. ExxonMobil and its key contractors have spent about $388 million with more than 800 local companies since 2015.

The 6.6-million-acre Stabroek Block is operated by ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd., which holds 45% interest. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30% interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of CNOOC Ltd., holds the remaining 25% interest.