The Guyana-Suriname Basin is said to contain 13 to 15 billion barrels of oil but so far the basin seems to be tilted in the direction of the lone English speaking country on the continent. ExxonMobil has made a record 9 discoveries on the Guyana side of the basin, striking oil on its first well – Liza back in 2015.
On the other hand, Kosmos Energy over in Suriname has hit two dry holes in a row; Anapai in June and more recently, Pontoenoe, in October. Anapai was fully tested and encountered high quality reservoirs in the targeted zones but did not find hydrocarbons while a high-quality reservoir was encountered at Pontoenoe-1 in Block 42, but the primary exploration objective proved to be water bearing.
Experts tell OilNOW that a number of tests and analysis of prospects offshore Suriname looked favourable but what seems to be absent is the trap to hold the hydrocarbons.
Meanwhile in Guyana, ExxonMobil, the operator with a 45 percent interest in the Stabroek Block has had an extraordinary run of good luck so far. Oil has been found in significant quantities in different plays, ranging from sandstone, in the case of the Liza and other fields, to carbonate, in the case of the Ranger reservoir.
ExxonMobil is so confident in the results being garnered from each drill campaign that it is bringing in a third drillship this month – the Noble Tom Madden – to continue the hunt for more oil.
Suriname will no doubt continue its quest for offshore glory but the results so far is a stark reminder that ExxonMobil’s record discoveries in Guyana is more of an exception, rather than the norm.