Stabroek block exploration holds potential surprises following Chevron’s ‘strategic move’ in Guyana – WoodMac 

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Consultancy Group Wood Mackenzie said that the exploration landscape in Guyana’s Stabroek block is poised for unexpected and positive results, following Chevron’s acquisition of Hess. 

“After Chevron´s strategic move in Guyana, exploration in Stabroek block can still surprise with good results,” WoodMac said in its newest report: “Latin America upstream: 5 things to look for in 2024.” 

Chevron acquired all of the outstanding shares of Hess in an all-stock transaction valued at US$53 billion, or US$171 per share based on Chevron’s closing price on October 20, 2023. Under the terms of the agreement, Hess shareholders received 1.0250 shares of Chevron for each Hess share. The total enterprise value, including debt, of the transaction was US$60 billion. 

Americas Market Intelligence (AMI) Director, Arthur Deakin, alluded to a similar prediction in 2023. Deakin foresees an uptick in the wells planned this year. He had pointed out that with another oil major joining the Stabroek consortium, the 10 to 12 wells likely planned for 2024, and the 35-well exploration campaign announced through 2028, activities could exceed the original numbers. 

WoodMac’s report says that deepwater development will continue to be the main area of focus in 2024. 

“Proven basins with key wildcats include the Santos basin, Guyana basin, and the Salinas Sureste area,” WoodMac said. Guyana has so far delivered over 11 billion recoverable barrels of oil in the Stabroek block. ExxonMobil, the operator, has already commenced its 2024 exploration campaign with drilling at Bluefin-1

WoodMac pointed out that frontier tests this year will include three exciting new plays: Argentina’s Argerich-1 well which aims to unlock a Namibia-like play; Petrobras’ test of the Brazilian Equatorial Margin and Ecopetrol’s success with Glaucus-1, set to encourage more offshore exploration in Colombia. 

In the Santos basin pre-salt, WoodMac outlined that Petrobras will continue the appraisal activities in Aram and Alto de Cabo Frio Central blocks with two wells. 

bp will also drill its first exploration well in the Brazilian pre-salt, the Pau-Brasil prospect during H1 2024.

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