By Kevin Ramnarine – OilNOW
In 2021 there will be a major increase in offshore drilling activity in the Southern Caribbean which will be led by Guyana.
At present there are four drillships operating in Guyana drilling for ExxonMobil. That number will increase to six as the year progresses and as ExxonMobil expands its exploration in the Canje Block and starts drilling development wells for the Payara project in the Stabroek Block.
ExxonMobil’s exploration wells will become riskier in 2021 as the company explores a wider geographic area and different plays.
In Suriname there will be two drillships and a possible third and one semi-submersible in operation. Deepwater exploration in Suriname in 2021 will be led by Total which has taken over operatorship of Block 58 from Apache. In 2020, Apache had three discoveries in Block 58. Total has contracted a drillship and a semi-submersible with Maersk.
Other exploration wells in Suriname will be drilled by Tullow in Block 47 and by Petronas of Malaysia (to be confirmed) following its Block 52 discovery in 2020. It is likely that Shell which acquired Kosmos’ interest in Block 42 will commence exploration drilling in 2022.
In Trinidad and Tobago there will be two semi submersibles and one jack up rig working for BP, BHP and Shell. These three rigs will be drilling in the BP Matapal (formerly the Savannah discovery of 2017), the BHP Ruby project in Block 3a and the Shell Colibri project (Block’s 22 and NCMA 4) and Shell’s exploration wells in block 5d. There is no deepwater exploration drilling planned in Trinidad and Tobago in 2021. This follows the disappointment of the BHP Broadside well.
Kevin Ramnarine served as Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago from June 2011 to September 2015. From May 2010 to June 2011, he served as Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago. He is currently a Lecturer at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business in Trinidad and Tobago.