Exploration and appraisal drilling offshore Guyana is set to get even busier with more wells now being targeted at the Canje block where two non-commercial prospects have been spudded so far. The Environmental Protection Agency said in a notice published over the weekend that ExxonMobil Guyana has submitted an application for Environmental Authorisation to undertake the campaign.
“In accordance with Section 11(2) of the Environmental Protection Act, Cap 20:05, Laws of Guyana, the application for the project…has been screened by the Agency,” the EPA said. “The Agency determined that the project will not significantly affect the environment and is therefore, exempt from the requirement of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), in accordance with Section 11(2) of the Environmental Protection Act, Cap 20:05.”
The EPA was clear to point out that this decision is in no way an indication of approval of the project. In fact, notwithstanding this decision, the EPA said in the interest of sound environmental management, the Agency will require the preparation and submission of an Environmental Assessment and Management Plan (EAMP) for the project.
The EAMP is intended to assess specific issues and impacts identified during screening and along with specific mitigation measures to ensure that the proposed project can be implemented in an environmentally sound and sustainable manner.
“In keeping with the Environmental Protection Act, Cap.20:05, Laws of Guyana, and the Environmental Protection (Authorisations) Regulations, 2000, any person who may be affected by any of the proposed project may lodge an appeal against the Agency’s decision (EIA not required) with the Environmental Assessment Board within thirty (30) days of the date of the publication of this notice,” the EPA said.
So far, ExxonMobil has drilled two wells at the Canje block – Bulletwood-1 and Jabillo-1. Bulletwood-1 was safely drilled in 2,846 meters of water by the Stena Carron drillship to its planned target depth of 6,690 meters but failed to deliver commercial crude. Jabillo-1 was also non-commercial. It was safely drilled to a depth of 6,475 meters in 2,903 meters of water by the same rig.
A 3-well campaign was initially planned for the Canje block with the Sapote-1 prospect being the next target for drilling.
The Canje Block lies 180km offshore Guyana in deep to ultra-deep water adjacent to the prolific Stabroek block. Canje’s environment of deposition is unique among offshore Guyana blocks in that it contains both continental slope and basin floor terrain. The majority of the discoveries offshore Guyana to date have been made in the slope environment.
ExxonMobil is operator with 35% interest. Total also holds a 35% stake with JHI Associates, Inc. holding 17.5% and Mid-Atlantic Oil & Gas, Inc. holding 12.5%.