2020 saw a dip in the number of exploration wells drilled in Guyana for the first time since 2015 with new discovered volumes shrinking to 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources. This further highlights the risky nature of deepwater exploration particularly in a year that saw global devastation in the oil and gas industry brought on by the pandemic.
Norway-based consultancy group Rystad Energy said the 1 billion barrels discovered last year came down from 3 billion barrels just a year earlier, in 2019, following a trend that has seen a steady annual increase in exploration drilling at the ExxonMobil-operated Stabroek Block, since 2015.
Five discoveries were announced in 2019 at Stabroek Block – Tilapia, Haimara, Yellowtail, Tripletail and Mako – while just three were made in 2020 – Uaru, Yellowtail-2 and Redtail.
2021 began with an exploration disappointment at the adjacent Canje Block where the Bulletwood-1 prospect was determined not to be commercial as a standalone development.
“Despite the initial hiccup at Canje, 2021 promises to be exciting, however, with a rebound in the number of wells and exploration activity spreading across several blocks beyond Stabroek,” Rystad Energy said.
The gross recoverable resource for the Stabroek Block is now estimated to be more than nine billion oil equivalent barrels, including Liza and other successful exploration wells on Payara, Liza deep, Snoek, Turbot, Ranger, Pacora, Longtail, Hammerhead, Pluma, Tilapia, Haimara, Yellowtail, Tripletail and Mako.