Oil and Gas explorers around the world had high hopes pinned on 2021 as pandemic restrictions eased and wildcat wells deferred from the year before were given the green light. But according to Rystad Energy, despite an impetus from higher oil prices, newfound volumes of oil and gas ended up sliding 60% from 2020 to 4.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent – the lowest volume in 75 years.
“The drop is a clear indication that oil and gas companies were very much in recovery mode last year, intent on preserving profits while adopting new strategies to remain competitive and investable,” Rystad Energy said. “Not only were fewer wells drilled than the year before – completed wells also had a lower success rate, and some key prospects failed to deliver.”
However, in Guyana ExxonMobil continued its remarkable success offshore the South American country at the Stabroek Block where seven discoveries were announced.
The U.S. oil major hit pay at Urau-2 (April), Longtail-3 (June), Whiptail-1 and 2 (July), Turbot-2 (September), Pinktail (September) and Cataback-1 (October). The recoverable resource estimate for the Stabroek Block was also increased to approximately 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
President of ExxonMobil Guyana Alistair Routledge classified 2021 as an outstanding year for the company despite the challenges of the pandemic.
“We have been able to overcome operational issues and deliver on volume targets including five cargos to the Government of Guyana. We’ve also continued our wonderful exploration success. Again, people tend to forget that this is a frontier exploration acreage, and we shouldn’t expect the kind of success we’ve seen,” Routledge said.
Senior Minister with responsibility for Finance in Guyana, Dr. Ashni Singh disclosed during his 2022 budget presentation last week that a total of 42.7 million barrels of oil were produced in 2021 at the Stabroek Block compared with 27.2 million in 2020. Oil production and export activities also pushed Guyana’s export earnings to a massive 68% increase in 2021.
Meanwhile, authorities in Guyana have projected that the country will receive close to US$1 billion in oil revenue this year, representing more than three times what it has earned per annum to date from Exxon’s Liza Phase 1 Development.