Noble projects Guyana-Suriname basin will need 6-7 ultra deepwater rigs through 2024

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The energy landscape of the Guyana-Suriname Basin is evolving at a rapid pace, with drilling activity set to intensify in the coming years. Noble Corporation projects the need for “6 to 7 ultra-deepwater (UDW) rigs through 2024, with potential upside from 2025 onwards” in the Basin, the company revealed during its Q2 earnings.

The Basin’s burgeoning significance is underscored by Noble’s robust business relationship with ExxonMobil. Currently, ExxonMobil deploys four of Noble’s drillships in the Stabroek Block under a Commercial Enabling Agreement (CEA). In a recent commitment that showcases the Basin’s promise, ExxonMobil extended this agreement from Q4 2025 to Q2 2027.

Petronas has also contracted the Noble Discoverer to drill a Block 52 well offshore Suriname, set to begin in August. The Discoverer just finished drilling the Wei-1 well offshore Guyana, for CGX Energy, where it made a discovery. ExxonMobil has also been utilising the Stena Carron and Stena DrillMAX in support of its Stabroek Block operations. 

As both Guyana and Suriname prepare to release more oil blocks to global energy giants, the Basin stands at the brink of a flurry of exploration and drilling activities, based on Noble’s projection of potential upside in 2025. Indications are rife that Guyana will overshadow its eastern peer in terms of the business volume generated. Exxon expects its drilling activities to peak offshore Guyana in 2025.

The projection is a testament to the strategic importance of the Guyana-Suriname Basin in the global oil industry. On top of its exploration and appraisal drilling, ExxonMobil is continuously drilling development wells to facilitate the growing number of developments for the Stabroek Block. The company will lift production offshore Guyana over 1.2 million bpd by 2027, adding high-quality barrels to global supply. It also appears as though Suriname will finally get its long-awaited final investment decision (FID) from TotalEnergies, the operator of Block 58. 

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