Exxon targeting three wildcats in search of “anchor prospects” to underpin new developments

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ExxonMobil aims to churn out even more discoveries in Guyana’s Stabroek block with three wildcats planned for the new year, said its senior vice president, Neil Chapman, on October 27. 

Exxon has already racked up a resource count of over 11 billion barrels in the 6.6-million-acre license. The majority is pooled in the southeast portion. Now Exxon is turning its focus to more unexplored parts of the block. 

“We are looking for what I call anchor prospects to the north and west. We have three true wildcats looking for ‘anchors’ in [the] next 10 to 12 months,” he told investors at the company’s Q3 earnings conference. 

And these new discoveries could tie into existing developments. 

Resource-dense Stabroek Block offers tremendous scope for tie-backs – Hess Chief | OilNOW 

The use of this engineering process, called subsea tieback, is a move that saves companies a fraction of the development costs for a project that typically involves purchasing a new floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

“The beauty about Stabroek is the density of [the] resource and the proximity of the FPSOs which gives potential for tiebacks,” he added. 

Exxon’s Liza Phases 1 and 2 projects do not have tiebacks. However, the Payara and Yellowtail projects do. The government approved a tieback of the Pacora discovery into the Payara project and the Redtail discovery into Yellowtail. These projects will come onstream in 2023 and 2025 respectively.

The Uaru development project will utilize subsea tiebacks to tap the Mako and Snoek discoveries.

Exxon is looking for tie-backs to support a potential Ranger development. Made in 2018, it was Exxon’s sixth discovery and was its deepest in that year, some 60 miles northwest of the prolific Liza field. Back then, Exxon had only racked up five discoveries, totaling an estimated 3.2 billion recoverable oil-equivalent barrels, and Ranger gave the co-venturers better insight into the Stabroek block’s potential.

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