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Guyana wells have high recovery rates, can be drilled faster than any other deepwater basin in the world

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The Guyana basin continues to shine with a range of world class attributes such as low breakeven prices, high quality crude and wells that are relatively shallow, which one co-venturer in the prolific Stabroek block says can be drilled faster than any other deepwater basin in the world.

These attributes continue to make the South American country the investment destination of choice for offshore oil exploration and production and will catapult it to among the top three producers in Latin America this decade.

“Guyana’s reservoirs rank among the highest quality in the world,” says John Hess, CEO of Hess Corporation, a 30% stakeholder in the Stabroek block, along with operator ExxonMobil (45%) and China’s CNOOC (25%).

“The reservoirs are relatively shallow with no salt, so wells can be drilled faster than other deepwater basins in the world,” stated Hess, speaking at the virtual Scotia Howard Weil Energy Conference. He said too that the reservoirs also have high recovery rates.

Drilling time and costs at Stabroek block are less than half those of a typical offshore deepwater exploration, the official pointed out in his presentation.

The Liza Phase 1 Development is targeting 500 million barrels of oil while Liza Phase 2 and Payara – the second and third projects at Stabroek block – will each develop 600 barrels. The three projects have breakeven prices of $35, $25 and $32 respectively.

Exxon will also submit a plan for a fourth development at Stabroek block – likely in the Yellowtail-Redtail area – to Guyanese authorities by year-end.

The Yellowtail area contains oily fluids similar to those of the Liza discovery made back in 2015 and Exxon is conducting additional tests to get more production information about the quality of the reservoirs found there.

“We continue to see multibillions of future exploration potential remaining” in Guyana, where the Stabroek co-venturers have made 18 discoveries with recoverable resources of more than 9 billion boe, Hess said.

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