Guyana-Suriname Basin currently utilizes a third of Noble’s drillship fleet

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Five of the 15 drillships in Noble’s fleet are currently under contract offshore Guyana and Suriname, in aid of exploration and development works in the basin. 

A May 6 Fleet Status Report from Noble noted that four ships are in use by ExxonMobil in the Stabroek Block, and one by Petronas at Suriname’s Block 52.

Table lists Noble Corporation’s drillships under contract in the Guyana-Suriname Basin

Exxon had been utilizing several Noble drillships for its Guyana operations before unitizing them under a single commercial enabling agreement (CEA) in 2023. The CEA extended Exxon’s hold on the four ships from Q4 2025 to Q2 2027.

While Exxon’s petroleum agreement from the Stabroek Block is set to come to a natural expiration in October 2026, some mechanisms could allow the company to hold sections of the block beyond that date for appraisal or development work. 

Aside from Stabroek, Exxon operates the Canje Block offshore Guyana, where it awaits environmental approval for a 12-well exploration and appraisal campaign. The Guyana government also announced that an Exxon-led consortium won Block S8 after the country’s first offshore licensing round. However, the Block has not yet been awarded. 

Offshore Suriname, the Noble Voyager is drilling the Sloanea-2 well at Block 52. This follows the conclusion of drilling at the Fusaea-1 well in the same block. The license area, operated by Petronas, appears to be Suriname’s second best hope for an offshore development after Block 58

Noble had said last year that it expected increased activity in the Guyana-Suriname Basin, with an expectation for as many as “6-7 ultra-deepwater (UDW) rigs through 2024, with potential upside from 2025 onwards…”

Two Stena rigs are also on contract for work in Guyana. The Stena Carron is operating in the Stabroek Block. The Stena DrillMAX has been temporarily reassigned to support an ExxonMobil campaign in Newfoundland and Labrador, and is expected to return to Guyana in the third quarter of 2024.


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