Explorers targeting ‘step out wells’ in prolific Guyana basin

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Ten billion barrels of oil equivalent and counting. The Guyana basin has gone from zero to prolific in just six years and from all indications, the volumes being discovered have not yet peaked. In fact, experts see much more upside to what has already been discovered at the Stabroek Block and expect explorers to begin making commercial discoveries at the adjacent blocks where multiple probes so far have failed to hit the jackpot.

Greg Hill, President and Chief Operating Officer of Hess Corporation, a 30% stakeholder at Stabroek Block, said this week exploration and appraisal activities in the fourth quarter of 2021 will include drilling a well located approximately 11 miles northwest of Liza 1.

“This well as a significant step out tests that will target deeper Campanian and Santonian aged reservoirs,” Hill said.

Appraisal activities in the fourth quarter will include drill-stem tests at Longtail 2 and Whiptail 2 as well as drilling the Tripletail 2 well.

On Friday, OilNOW reported that the third attempt by Exxon to find commercial crude at Canje Block failed but drilling results point to the significant potential of the acreage.

“Geologic risk is inherent to frontier oil and gas exploration activities. Every well in frontier oil and gas exploration provides invaluable data to inform future activities,” ExxonMobil Guyana Media and Communication Manager, Janelle Persaud, told OilNOW on Friday when contacted. “We will continue to leverage our deepwater expertise and advanced technology to explore frontier environments with the highest value resource potential.”

Westmount Energy, which is invested in minority interests in multiple projects offshore Guyana, said Friday that while no standalone discoveries have been made at high-quality reservoirs in the first drilling campaigns for the Kaieteur and Canje blocks, prospects remain favourable.

“While the initial drilling outcomes from the Westmount portfolio have yet to deliver a standalone commercial discovery, the results to date provide encouragement and must be viewed in the context of initial ‘large step-out’ wells evaluating giant stratigraphic prospects while seeking to establish the perimeter of the multiple play fairways both to the northeast and southwest of the prolific Stabroek block,” Westmount Chair, Gerald Walsh said.

Westmount said analysis is presently underway to integrate results from the drill campaign with newly acquired sub-surface data into regional petroleum system models. The plan is to ‘high-grade’ potential targets for follow-on drilling.

Preparations are underway, including applications for environmental authorisations, for the next planned phase of drilling slated at the Canje and Kaieteur blocks from 2022 onwards.

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