2022: Guyana’s biggest year for oil and gas exploration

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Shikema Dey
Experienced Journalist with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry and a keen interest in oil and gas, energy, public infrastructure, agriculture, social issues, development and the environment.

ExxonMobil and Stabroek Block co-venturers, Hess and CNOOC, marked 2022 with a slew of new discoveries. It has been described as the best exploration year in Guyana so far, with a total of nine discoveries announced at Stabroek and a historic find made at the Corentyne Block.

Here’s a look back at those discoveries that made the year:

January – Lau Lau & Fangtooth

The Lau Lau-1 well encountered approximately 315 feet (96 meters) of high-quality hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone reservoirs. The well was drilled in 4,793 feet (1,461 meters) of water and is located approximately 42 miles (68 kilometers) southeast of the Liza field.

The Fangtooth-1 well encountered approximately 164 feet (50 meters) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. The well was drilled in 6,030 feet (1,838 meters) of water.

April – Barreleye, Patwa & Lukanani

The Barreleye- 1 well encountered approximately 230 feet (70 meters) of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone and was drilled in 3,840 feet (1,170 meters) of water.

The Patwa-1 well encountered 108 feet (33 meters) of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone and was conducted in 6,315 feet (1,925 meters) of water.

The Lukanani-1 well encountered 115 feet (35 meters) of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone and was drilled in a water depth of 4,068 feet (1,240 meters).

July – Seabob & Kiru-Kiru

The Seabob-1 well encountered approximately 131 feet (40 meters) of high-quality hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone and was drilled in 4,660 feet (1,421 meters) of water. 

The Kiru-Kiru-1 well encountered approximately 98 feet (30 meters) of high-quality hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone and was drilled in 5,760 feet (1,756 meters) of water. 

October – Sailfin & Yarrow

The Sailfin-1 discovery was announced in October 2022. The Sailfin-1 well encountered approximately 312 feet (95 meters) of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone and was drilled in 4,616 feet (1,407 meters) of water. 

Also announced in October 2022, drilling at the Yarrow-1 well encountered approximately 75 feet (23 meters) of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone and was drilled in 3,560 feet (1,085 meters) of water.

Outside of the prolific Stabroek Block, CGX Energy also delivered a historic discovery after more than 2 decades on the hunt. CGX and partner Frontera Energy Corporation announced on January 31 that the Kawa-1 well was drilled to a depth of 21,578 feet (6,578 metres) on the northern section of the Corentyne Block, encountering approximately 177 feet (54 metres) of hydrocarbon-bearing reservoirs within Maastrichtian, Campanian and Santonian horizons based on initial evaluation of Logging While Drilling (LWD) data. The well was however subsequently plugged and abandoned.

What’s to come?

As of April 2022, nearly 11 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas resources were found in the Stabroek Block. This number is sure to be revised upward with four discoveries since and new exploration wells on the horizon. Exxon is now targeting a new well – Lancetfish-1 – with the hopes of ringing in the new year with another successful hit in the block that keeps on delivering.

ExxonMobil has lodged plans with regulators to drill scores of wells across several years. In 2023, the company will conclude its 25-well Stabroek Block exploration campaign and commence another, with up to 35 wells planned, starting in the second quarter. The energy major will also drill 12 wells each in the Kaieteur and Canje Blocks. 

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