“This is not normal.” This is how the unprecedented success ExxonMobil has been having offshore Guyana is being described by head of its operations in the South American country, Alistair Routledge.
“We reached the huge milestone of declaring 10 billion oil equivalent barrels of resource that we have discovered, that’s in a short number of years, I think really, just less than six years…that we have been exploring offshore Guyana. To achieve that amount is quite outstanding,” Routledge said.
On Wednesday the company announced two more oil discoveries at the prolific Stabroek Block, which according to Guyana’s Ministry of Natural Resources, now exceed 25 commercial strikes.
Just over six years ago Guyana had no proven hydrocarbon resources. Although the U.S. Geological Survey had estimated that the Guyana-Suriname Basin had some 13.6 billion barrels of oil and 32 billion cubic feet of gas, explorers kept coming up dry over the years drilling over 40 wells.
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“We tend to forget this is still a frontier exploration region, so the success rate we’re having really talks to the technology that we are able to bring, the experience from similar basins around the world,” Routledge pointed out.
The Liza-1 success in 2015 spurred extensive activity in the Basin by ExxonMobil and the Stabroek Block co-venturers, Hess Guyana Exploration Limited and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited. The collection of extensive state-of-the art seismic data has been leveraged to enable successful exploration of multiple play types across the Basin. This has seen Exxon finding an average of 1.7 billion barrels of oil per year in Guyana since 2015.
“This is not normal, this level of success, and we remain committed to our exploration activities offshore Guyana and hope to continue to extend and grow that resource base,” Routledge stated.
Exxon said the foundation for its success in Guyana is up-front investment in proprietary seismic data and proprietary technology that it has developed, such as full wavefield inversion imaging and algorithms that run on supercomputers to give it the best chance of finding oil and gas deposits.