ExxonMobil announces 6th major oil discovery offshore Guyana

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ExxonMobil has announced today positive results from its Ranger-1 exploration well, marking the oil giant’s sixth oil discovery offshore Guyana since 2015.

According to information from the Business Wire, the Ranger-1 well discovery adds to previous world-class discoveries at Liza, Payara, Snoek, Liza Deep and Turbot, which are estimated to total more than 3.2 billion recoverable oil-equivalent barrels.

Exxon’s Stena Carron ship in Guyana’s waters

The Business Wire in a release on the find said that ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd. “began drilling the Ranger-1 well on Nov. 5, 2017 and encountered approximately 230 feet (70 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing carbonate reservoir. The well was safely drilled to 21,161 feet (6,450 meters) depth in 8,973 feet (2,735 meters) of water.”

“This latest success operating in Guyana’s significant water depths illustrates our ultra deepwater and carbonate exploration capabilities,” said Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company. “This discovery proves a new play concept for the 6.6 million acre Stabroek Block, and adds further value to our growing Guyana portfolio.”

According to the Business Wire, following completion of the Ranger-1 well, the Stena Carron drillship will move to the Pacora prospect, 4 miles from the Payara discovery. Additional exploration drilling is planned on the Stabroek Block for 2018, including potential appraisal drilling at the Ranger discovery.

There has been a flurry of activities in the Stabroek Block, since ExxonMobil’s 2015 oil find in Guyana. In May of that year, Exxon confirmed that more than 295 feet of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs had been encountered at its Liza 1 exploration well.

In late June 2016, Exxon’s drilling results at Liza 2 revealed more than 58 metres of oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs in Upper Cretaceous formations. The well was drilled to 5475 metres at 1692 metres water depth. Drilling results confirmed recoverable resources to be between 800 million and 1.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Data from the Liza 2 well test is being assessed.

The company had announced that it made its third significant discovery in its drilling explorations offshore Guyana. Its partner, Hess Corporation, had noted that the Liza 3 exploratory well’s net value could be US$6.2 billion based on calculations from the Bank of Montreal (BMO) Capital Markets.

Drilling on Payara began on November 12, 2016, with initial total depth reached on December 2, 2016. In January of 2017, the oil giant had announced it had struck oil in its Payara-1 well, targeting the same type of reservoirs as the well’s Liza counterpart.

It’s fifth major oil find came just 30 miles away from the Liza 1 well at the Turbot-1 well. Exxon affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana had been drilling the Turbot-1 well since August 2017.

According to Exxon, that well was drilled to 18,445 feet or 5622 metres on September 29. With such promising results, Exxon had announced that another Turbot well is planned for 2018.

The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres. Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is the operator and holds a 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd holds a 30 per cent interest, and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds a 25 per cent interest.

Exxon’s Country Manager Rod Henson during a press conference at the Marriot Hotel in December of 2017 announced that it is likely to commence oil production by March 2020.

“We are estimating around March 2020 right now. That’s when production will start, and it will be somewhere between 100,000 and 120,000 barrels a day and we continue to try to accelerate on that. I’ll tell you though, we are trying to do this as we safely can,” Henson told local journalists.

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