S&P Global says there will be almost 30 high impact wells (HIW) being drilled across Latin America, Africa, and the Asia Pacific regions in 2023. It said there will be fewer wells planned in Europe, frontier North America, and the Middle East.
In Latin America, S&P said it envisages HIWs to be spud in Mexico (Yatzil, Itzcali and Jokol), Brazil (Tucano and Morpho), Argentina (Argerich), Suriname (Walker) and Guyana (Amatuk and Wei).
With the success of Guyana in recent years and plans announced by operators such as ExxonMobil’s Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), S&P said it is aware that additional HIWs could be spud in Guyana in 2023. It said ExxonMobil has also indicated potential to explore within the Kaieteur block next year.
In addition to ExxonMobil’s exploration efforts, with its fields such as Liza Phase 1 and 2, which are currently in production mode, Payara – due on stream in 2023 – and Yellowtail poised for start-up two years later, the company expects Guyana’s oil production capacity to be more than one million barrels per day (MMbo/d) by the end of the decade.
In Africa, S&P said there are two wells planned in Gabon (Seal and Tigre), two wells in Mozambique (Angoche and Raia) and two wells in South Africa. It also expects to see HIWs in Republic of the Congo (Niamou), Guinea-Bissau/Senegal JEZ (Gainde) and further drilling in Namibia with the Aurora well.
For Asia Pacific, it said there are wells planned in Australia (Beehive and Lion) and Papua New Guinea (Antelope South and Mailu) along with wells in Indonesia (Geng North), Malaysia (Layang-Layang), Philippines (Cinco) and Vietnam.
In Europe, the analytics group said, “we may see further drilling in Cyprus. Last year Eni discovered Cronos, which is the fifth discovery in the area to date. There are potentially three wells planned for 2023; these are Soupia, Alphee and Eratosthenes.”
In the Middle East, the analytics group said the industry may see the Qana-1 well in Lebanon be drilled within the Levantine Basin. In Kazakhstan, the Zhenis well is planned which was due to spud during December 2022. Finally in frontier North America, it said the Cape Freels well might be given the go-ahead in the Orphan Basin.
Based on the foregoing information, S&P said it expects between 25 and 30+ HIWs to be drilled in 2023. It said this range was provided considering that exploration remains a high-risk, yet high-reward business and plans are subject to change in the face of an ever-changing environment grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic and energy transition pressures.