Guyana’s exploration successes have been so frequent that the Stabroek Block is being hailed as one of the most unprecedented exploration blocks of all time.
Making this comment most recently was Senior Vice President and Head of Latin America and the Caribbean for Rystad Energy, Schreiner Parker, during a seminar held by OilNOW and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Thursday.
“If you think about the typical success rate for exploration, it’s usually around 20% meaning that out of every five exploration wells that you drill, you’ll encounter hydrocarbons in one of those exploration wells,” Parker said.
In terms of exploration at Stabroek, he explained that it has been almost the complete opposite, noting that there have been few dry holes drilled versus the number of discoveries.
The Ministry of Natural Resources most recently said there have been a total of 33 discoveries in the block. Exxon’s public statements indicate that the success rate is near 90%.
Building on its successes, Exxon intends to commence a 35-well exploration campaign when the current 25-well campaign ends mid-2023. the partners believe they are still in the early innings of their Stabroek Block success.
ExxonMobil also plans a campaign at the Canje and Kaieteur Blocks, targeting 12 wells in each Block.
Parker noted that exploration success has been elusive outside of the Stabroek Block. Most recently, Tullow Oil announced that its joint venture partner and operator of the Kanuku Block, Repsol, encountered water at the Beebei-Potaro well.
In the Orinduik Block, the Jethro and Joe finds were more substantial, but Parker related that the quality of crude encountered there was of a lower quality than generally encountered at Stabroek, resulting in a lesser likelihood of commerciality. Recently, Eco Atlantic announced that the Orinduik Block partners are reassessing the commerciality of Jethro, which holds more than 100 million barrels.
The Orinduik partners are preparing to submit drilling commitments to the Guyana government closer to the end of 2022.
Parker said Rystad sees “the industry is focusing on a new, emerging discovery trendline which is parallel to the primary trend, thereby increasing the probability of encountering commercial hydrocarbons within yet to be drilled wells.”
Hence, Rystad expects there to be commercial discoveries outside of the Stabroek Block.
“You can certainly see where the kitchen has formed in southeast corner of Stabroek in the northwest corner of block 58 in Suriname,” Parker said.
The Guyana offshore area has proven to hold in excess of 11 billion oil equivalent barrels so far, with just a small portion of the Guyana side of the basin explored.