Guyana opposition official believes Exxon discovered as much as 30 billion barrels 

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In the wake of ExxonMobil’s recent revelation of yet another oil discovery in the Stabroek Block, an Alliance for Change (AFC) party official has expressed the belief that the company has discovered way more oil and gas than is publicly known. 

Opposition Member of Parliament, David Patterson strongly believes that the current proven reserves far surpass the most recent publicly stated total of 11 billion oil-equivalent barrels. 

Multiple new discoveries made in Guyana, but Hess says no update yet on new resource estimate | OilNOW 

He stated, “This, by my count, should be the 35 or 36 oil discovery by Exxon. Yet they have failed to appraise these wells. Therefore, we are still at 11 billion barrels of oil. We all know that… basic calculation… we are supposed to be somewhere over 20 [billion barrels] based on [the discoveries]. You know that the mere fact that Exxon is fighting Chevron, to not allow them to get a piece of the booty in the Stabroek Block… you can know that we are not 20 [billion barrels]. We are probably even close to 30 [billion].” 

The ExxonMobil operated Stabroek Block.

The revision of the Stabroek Block estimate to 11 billion barrels was announced in April 2022 with the announcement of three discoveries – Barreleye-1, Patwa-1 and Lukanani-1. Exxon had hit a combined 453 feet of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstones. 

Since then, more than 10 discoveries have been made, including Bluefin-1

Patterson’s remarks reflect broader concerns articulated in a press release issued by the Office of the Leader of the Opposition on March 16, 2024. In the release, Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton called for urgent updates on discovered oil volumes and demanded the release of the combined cash flow statement for the first five oil development projects, extending from Liza to Uaru.

The Opposition said that information on oil reserves is essential for citizens to fulfill their duty of protecting Guyana’s natural resources. Referring to the country’s commitment to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Patterson also demanded full compliance with constitutional principles and international standards of transparency.

In addition to information on oil reserves, the Opposition called for disclosure of projected combined cash flow for existing and approved developments. Patterson said this would enable citizens to understand how the company is expected to recoup its investments and impact revenue generation, particularly through profit oil.

Guyana’s Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo told reporters last year that when a discovery is made, a number of steps must then be taken to ascertain the quantity.

It’s in Exxon’s interest to show increased resources but they have to analyse the data – Jagdeo

“It’s in their interest, Exxon’s interest, to show bigger reserves. It does affect them globally, their company that [is] traded on the [stock] exchange, too. But they have to go through a technical process. I suspect that’s all that’s happening now,” Jagdeo said at the time.

ExxonMobil has said an upward revision of the Stabroek Block reserves is based on material improvement of the resources discovered. To determine this, the company said it is continuing to drill, quantify and characterise well results.

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