Stabroek block resource update to come “when we see significant change” – Exxon

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ExxonMobil has been racking up discoveries in Guyana’s Stabroek block after hitting the 11 billion-barrel of oil equivalent mark. But this has not yet resulted in an upward revision of the resource estimate. 

“We continue to integrate those results – both of exploration and appraisal drilling – and we are going to update that resource base when we see it is a significant change… Our program of exploration and appraisal continues,” Neil Chapman, Exxon’s senior vice president explained when asked pointedly about the revision, during Exxon’s 2023 third quarter earnings call on Friday, October 27.

The Stabroek Block offshore Guyana.

The revision of the Stabroek block estimate to 11 billion barrels was announced in April 2022 with the announcement of three discoveries – Barreleye-1, Patwa-1 and Lukanani-1. Exxon – the operator – hit a combined 453 feet of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstones. 

The Seabob-1 and Kiru-Kiru-1 discoveries came in July that same year, with a combined 229 feet of “high-quality hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone”, according to information supplied by Exxon. 

Another double discovery was then made in October – Sailfin-1 and Yarrow-1 – to cap off what industry experts dubbed Exxon’s best exploration year. They added another 390 feet of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone to the pool.

2023 came around and Exxon hit pay again at the Fangtooth SE-1 discovery in January. Hess made that announcement, stating that the well encountered “approximately 200 feet of oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs.” Hess even said the discovery “now adds to the block’s gross discovered recoverable resource estimate of more than 11 billion barrels.” 

Four miles off the Fangtooth-1 discovery, Exxon then found more oil back in April at Lancetfish-1; some 92 feet of oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. And then more recently, the Lancetfish-2 appraisal well which encountered approximately 125 feet of net oil pay in appraisal reservoirs and approximately 65 feet of net oil pay in a new discovery interval.

The current resource count remains speculative. In 2022, the first two discoveries, Fangtooth-1 and Lau-Lau-1, prompted varying estimates from Norway’s Rystad Energy at 13.6 billion barrels and S&P Global at 15 billion barrels. All nine discoveries in 2022 were considered high-impact, each estimated to exceed 100 million oil equivalent barrels by Westwood Global Energy Group. Fangtooth stood out as the largest discovery, leading the Stabroek block co-venturers to consider it for the seventh development.

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