With limited budgets and rich inventories after a few years of active acreage loading, explorers will drill only the prospects that really matter this year. In its new report on global exploration, UK-based consultancy group Wood Mackenzie said companies will be extremely selective, targeting advantaged resources that may displace existing brownfield and less advantaged greenfield options.
“Low-cost, low-carbon and short-cycle opportunities will be prioritized,” WoodMac said, pointing out that gas with a clear route to market will be increasingly in favour.
When it comes to advantaged resources, Guyana tops the list of countries where low breakeven prices and good quality crude make the South American country a preferred destination for exploration and production activities.
“Advantaged deepwater oil in places like Guyana and Brazil, along with niche LNG – including low-cost greenfield and feedgas backfill at legacy liquefaction projects – will progress,” Robert Morris, a senior analyst at WoodMac has said.
In its new report, the consultancy group said large and giant prospects in proven frontier and emerging plays, plus potential play openers, will represent a higher proportion of the reduced global well count in 2021.
“Some are delayed from 2020 and located in hotly contested acreage,” WoodMac said. “In the coming 12-18 months, many high-impact campaigns will be expected, in the deep water of Suriname, Guyana, Brazil, Mexico, Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Canada. South Africa, Namibia and Angola deepwater, Cyprus and Montenegro in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and Kara Sea will also hold some highly anticipated wells to watch.”
Already, ExxonMobil is drilling the 500 mmbbl Bulletwood-1 prospect at the Canje block offshore Guyana, making it the explorer’s second attempt to hit pay outside of the prolific Stabroek block. The company had previously drilled the Tanager-1 well at the Kaieteur block, but hydrocarbons found there were not in commercial volumes and heavier than the crude being produced at its Liza field in the Stabroek block.
Two other wells – Jabillo-1 and Sapote-1 – have also been selected as potential drilling targets at the Canje block.
Additionally, results from Exxon’s campaign at Hassa-1 at the Stabroek block is pending. Hassa-1 is targeting Campanian aged reservoirs approximately 30 miles east of the Liza Field.