Exxon has “healthy inventory of drilling prospects” planned for Stabroek Block – Hess CEO

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Hess Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), John Hess has lauded the Guyana government’s decision to approve a request for a one-year extension to explore the Stabroek Block, thereby providing enough room to execute a healthy inventory of drilling prospects. 

Hess shared this perspective during his recent participation at Barclays CEO Energy-Power Conference. Following his presentation on Hess’ financial health at June 2023 along with insights into its projected earnings, the CEO touched on the exploration deadline for the Stabroek Block. Hess was keen to share that this was expected to come to an end in 2026 but it was extended after a petition by the ExxonMobil-led consortium.

“During COVID, we had to put drilling on hold for safety reasons…we shut down exploration because we just couldn’t get all the people to operate… We went to the government as a joint venture and said we really would appreciate getting another year on the exploration license because COVID almost force-majeured operations,” the CEO explained.

“The government was very reasonable with us, and we got an extension for our exploration license from 2026 to 2027,” he added. 

As a consequence of this extension, he said the partners would not have to relinquish 20% of the block until October 2024. That was originally scheduled for this year.

Hess asserted that the government’s decision demonstrates its willingness to cooperate and understand the challenges faced by the Stabroek consortium. 

Hess also assured investors that the partners have more running way to execute the exploration programme which includes a “very healthy inventory of drilling prospects” for exploration and appraisal. He said too that the partners usually drill about 10 to 12 wells per year in Stabroek.

The CEO assured that this momentum will continue until 2027.


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