‘Highly prolific quality reservoir’ targeted for Exxon’s 5th development in Guyana

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The South American country of Guyana is moving full steam ahead with the development of its vast hydrocarbon resources mainly at the prolific Stabroek Block, where U.S. oil major ExxonMobil has found over 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent since 2015. In fact, sums have already been allocated for the review of the Field Development Plan (FDP) for the fifth project (Uaru), with approval of the fourth (Yellowtail) expected soon.

Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat announced this week that GY$88 million has been approved in this year’s budget for a firm to review the Uaru FDP.

Exxon discovered oil at Uaru-1 in January 2020. The well encountered approximately 94 feet (29 meters) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir and was drilled in 6,342 feet (1,933 meters) of water. Later in April 2021, the oil major announced another discovery at the Uaru-2 well. Drilling at Uaru-2 encountered approximately 120 feet (36.7 meters) of high-quality oil-bearing reservoirs including newly identified intervals below the original Uaru-1 discovery. The well was drilled in 5,659 feet (1,725 meters) of water and is located approximately 6.8 miles (11 kilometres) south of the Uaru-1 well.

“I think, the most significant part about Uaru was that it was 6.8 miles from Uaru-1, which demonstrates a very large areal extent for the Uaru reservoir itself,” Greg Hill, Chief Operations Officer of Hess Corporation told investors on an earnings call in April 2021. CEO John Hess later added that the short distance between the Uaru-1 and 2 shows the potential for “large aerial extent of a highly prolific quality reservoir.”

OilNOW reported this week that UK firm Bayphase Limited had secured the contract to review the Yellowtail FDP at the cost of US$423,360. Bayphase is required to conduct an in-depth review of all supporting and reference documentation, along with the related environmental and social impact assessments (ESIA) submitted by the Licensees.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo had announced last Thursday that the government is putting systems in place for the award of the licence for the project. The completion of this review is slated for March 2022.

Yellowtail is Guyana’s fourth and biggest oil project in the Stabroek Block and is proposed by ExxonMobil’s local subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited.

The Stabroek Blocks has the potential for as many as ten floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels. With such a large fleet of FPSOs, Guyana could easily be producing as much as two million barrels of oil per day by the mid-2030s.

The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). ExxonMobil affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEGPL) is the operator and holds 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Limited. holds 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds 25 per cent interest.


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