Natural Resources Ministry says Skipjack well did not yield “commercial quantities of hydrocarbons”
As US oil giant ExxonMobil continues exploration in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, the company reported that its Skipjack well did not yield “commercial quantities of hydrocarbons”, according to the Natural Resources Ministry.
The Ministry, in a statement yesterday, said ExxonMobil and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) informed authorities that on August 29, 2016 the well proved not to have commercial quantities of hydrocarbons.
“We are continuing to have verification work done and awaiting a full report and more information will be provided then. This announcement reminded us of the undulating fortunes of mining in general and of oil exploration in particular,” the Ministry’s statement said.
The Stena Carron: Drilling ahead of Liza 3 offshore Guyana (Upstream photo)
ExxonMobil, the statement continued, will continue with plans to develop the Liza well with its declared capacity of approximately one billion barrels and also look for other possible targets for drilling.
“Likewise, the Government continues its preparations for the eventual production of oil and gas in the near future by building capacity at the legislative, technical and regulatory levels,” the statement continued.
ExxonMobil’s local manager, Jeff Simmons, was quoted in a section of the local media as confirming that indeed the Skipjack well did not turn up the results expected.
International oil and gas newspaper, Upstream quoted ExxonMobil sources who confirmed that the company failed to hit commercial hydrocarbons at the Skipjack exploration well, where the super major was targeting similar conditions to its massive Liza oil find of between 800 million and 1.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
The US super major confirmed reports from Upstream sources that Skipjack, which was spud on July 17, was a dry hole.
The company did not detail if there were any hydrocarbon shows during the drilling.
Sources familiar with the geology in the vast Guyana-Suriname basin called the Skipjack prospect a geological lookalike to Liza, reiterating comments previously made by executives at ExxonMobil’s partner Hess that the Stabroek Block contained potentially more than 20 structures with similar attributes as Liza.
The Stena Carron drillship is on location at the Liza 3 appraisal well after drilling Skipjack 40 kilometres to the north-west of Liza.
ExxonMobil spud Liza 3 on September 4 and, like its predecessor Liza 2, the well will focus on testing the flank of the Liza structure to determine the aerial extent of the reservoir.
Liza 2 hit more than 190 feet of net pay and caused ExxonMobil, along with partners Hess and CNOOC subsidiary Nexen, to boost their estimate of the recoverable oil in place at Liza.
In July, ExxonMobil submitted a development plan for Liza to Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency to begin the environmental review process.
That plan calls for a pair of rigs to drill development wells from two drill centres, each with a corresponding water injection site to the east. Production will be sent to an FPSO with capacity of around 100,000 barrels of oil per day.
Under that plan, first production from the field would come online sometime in 2020 or as late as 2021.