“Elephant Man” says Guyana-Suriname Basin has big potential

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Rob Strong

Canadian oil and gas consultant Rob Strong is adamant that much more oil will be found in the Guyana-Suriname Basin, in keeping with his view that the world class Liza discovery is like an elephant; and “elephants don’t travel alone.”

Strong said while there have been wells that came up dry; the name of the game is patience.

CGX Energy, as recently as 2012, came up dry at its Jaguar-1 well off the Guyana coast, and before that, had the same negative results at its Eagle-1 well. Skipjack – drilled by ExxonMobil offshore Guyana in 2016, also came up dry, while Araku, drilled by Tullow off the Suriname coast in October, failed to encounter significant reservoir quality rocks.

“I would certainly not let the fact that there have been a couple dry wells drilled in the Guyana-Suriname Basin discourage any interest there might be. Along with many others including the United States Geological Survey, I am a firm believer that the Guyana-Suriname Basin is indeed a prolific basin which contains numerous opportunities for further development,” he said.

An estimated 13.6 billion barrels of oil and 32 trillion cubic feet of natural gas could be contained in the Guyana-Suriname Basin, making it the 2nd most prospective, under-explored offshore oil basins in the world, according to the United States Geological Survey.

ExxonMobil has so far made 5 discoveries offshore Guyana and the country’s natural resources minister has said recoverable reserves now reach the 3 billion barrel mark.

The consultant said there were many failed attempts before the discovery of oil at Exxon’s (formerly Mobil’s) Hibernia oil field situated approximately 200 miles off the coast of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in the prolific Jeanne d’Arc Basin.

“A review of the well histories of offshore Newfoundland and Labrador indicates that the first well was drilled and completed on August 10, 1966.  But as my friend Jim Keating, Vice-President of Newfoundland’s oil and gas company Nalcor, reminded me recently; we had 21 wells before our first oil show. It was not in commercial quantities.  Not until Hibernia P-16 in 1979 which was our 60th well did we have our first commercial one.  In the first 60 wells, we had 10 “shows” mostly gas in Labrador,” he pointed out.

With oil production set to get underway in Guyana in 2020, Strong said the road ahead requires a lot of work, but if done right, the South American country stands to benefit immensely.

Read more in his column – Industry Insight – HERE

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