The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) expects the mega deepwater oil discoveries offshore the South American country of Guyana will keep growing in the coming years as more companies explore for hydrocarbon resources.
The number of companies operating in the offshore basin has grown significantly over the years, starting with just a few in the early days when success was all but non-existent.
“The number and composition of the oil companies that conduct petroleum activities on the Guyana-Basin have varied over time,” IDB said in a recently released paper – Traversing a Slippery Slope: Guyana’s Oil Opportunity. “In the beginning, only a few major international oil companies conducted exploration activities offshore, but today there are more than twelve companies involved in exploration, production and infrastructure.”
The bank said the amalgam of small firms and the presence of key oil majors improves the likelihood of discoveries that de-risk the basin by introducing many different projects, and various technologies.
“It is expected that Guyana’s huge deepwater oil discoveries will keep growing, with companies such as: Total SA, Repsol SA, in addition to ExxonMobil and Tullow Guyana BV, exploring for oil in Guyanese waters,” the IDB said.
To date, Guyana has nine petroleum blocks under active leases, with exploratory activities already carried out in six.
“So far, three blocks have shown significant oil plays amid prolific discoveries,” the Bank said, noting that the offshore activities have been led by a consortium of three major oil companies, namely, ExxonMobil, Hess and CNOOC. “All licenses were allocated through bilateral negotiations and are at varying stages of exploration, drilling, development, and production.”
The IDB said the rest of the companies in other license areas are in the process of fulfilling the minimum work program established within the contract under the acquisition and processing of information, as well as the drilling of exploration wells.
ExxonMobil, operator at the prolific Stabroek Block, has so far made a total of 18 discoveries amounting to more than 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources. The company started producing oil last December and has to date sanctioned three projects with several more expected in the coming years.