Twenty-twenty two was hailed as the most successful year for exploration in Guyana’s history, marked by a total of nine discoveries in the Stabroek Block and a significant find in the Corentyne Block. This year, the pace has slowed, although several discoveries have added to the cumulative potential of Guyana’s offshore oil reserves.
According to data from S&P Global, approximately 3.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent were yielded from 2022 discoveries in Guyana, a figure that declined to just over 800 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2023.
In January, Hess announced the Fangtooth SE-1 discovery, revealing approximately 200 feet of oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. This further contributed to the estimated gross discovered recoverable resource at the ExxonMobil-operated Stabroek Block, which stands at 11 billion barrels.
April witnessed the Lancetfish-1 well discovery also announced by Hess. This well, situated about four miles southeast of the Fangtooth discovery, encountered approximately 92 feet of oil-bearing sandstone reservoir, signifying another addition to the block’s reserves.
Continuing the Lancetfish success, October marked Hess’s revelation of further oil discovery with the Lancetfish-2 appraisal well. Encountering approximately 125 feet of net oil pay in appraisal reservoirs and about 65 feet of net oil pay in a new discovery interval, this finding reaffirmed the potential of the Lancetfish reservoir in Guyana’s Stabroek block.
However, not all discoveries were made at the Stabroek Block. CGX Energy Inc. and Frontera Energy Corporation jointly announced in June the oil discovery at the Wei-1 well on the Corentyne block, situated approximately 200 kilometers offshore Guyana. The well encountered 210 feet of hydrocarbon-bearing sands in the Santonian horizon, marking a significant milestone in the exploration efforts outside the Stabroek Block.
Globally, the year 2023 also pales in comparison to 2022 which was a successful year for exploration, primarily due to the large offshore discoveries in the Orange Sub-basin, Namibia, and the Guyana oil finds.
S&P Global says some of the reasons why 2023 has not resulted in similarly buoyant numbers are likely fewer wells drilled, a greater focus on appraisal drilling and some poor well results.
However, despite the relatively slower pace of discoveries this year in Guyana, the findings underscore the continued potential of the country’s offshore basin.
ExxonMobil also plans to drill 35 exploration and appraisal (E&A) wells at the Stabroek Block through 2027 and it has also applied for environmental clearance to drill 12 E&A wells in the Canje Block.
Correction: An earlier iteration of this article’s headline stated that Guyana delivered 2.6 billion boe in 2023. This was corrected to 800 million boe.