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Guyana has the largest new conventional liquids play the world has seen in a decade

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The increase in the estimated gross discovered recoverable resources at the prolific Stabroek Block offshore Guyana places the South American country at the top of the list for the largest new conventional liquids play in the world over the last decade.

The country has moved from having no known hydrocarbon resources to now being among the top 20 countries in the world with proven reserves. All this has occurred in just five years starting with the targeted exploration campaign conducted by US oil major ExxonMobil back in 2015 which resulted in the largest oil discovery that year at the Liza field.

The company has made a total of 18 discoveries offshore Guyana amounting to approximately 9 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources, which, according to Jack Williams, head of downstream and chemical operations at ExxonMobil, positions the Stabroek Block “as the largest new conventional liquids play in the last decade.”

Almost all of the discoveries made offshore Guyana so far have been at Stabroek – 18 out of 21 – with significant prospects still remaining in the massive 6.6 million acres block. This, together with the ramp up in exploration activities outside of Stabroek, means potential remains high for more discoveries and field developments in coming years.

“It is expected that Guyana’s huge deepwater oil discoveries will keep growing, with companies such as:  Total SA, Repsol SA, in addition to ExxonMobil and Tullow Guyana BV, exploring for oil in Guyanese waters,” the Inter-American Development bank (IDB) said in a recent paper.

Production is also set to skyrocket, moving from peak output of 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the Liza Phase 1 development, to over 750,000 bpd by 2026 when five projects are expected to be online.

“The planned production sequencing of…approximately 750,000 boe/day in 2025[6], will make Guyana the fifth largest oil-producing country in Latin America and the Caribbean,” the IDB said.

By the mid-2030s Rystad Energy expects Guyana to be producing around 1.4 million bpd which will move the country up to among the top three producers in Latin America.

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