ExxonMobil to drill another well in Canje Block

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ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) is making preparations to drill another well in the Canje Block, a week after it failed to strike oil in commercial quantities in the Bulletwood-1 well.

According to Westmount Energy, a shareholder in one of Exxon’s Co-Venturers in the Canje Block, the Stena Carron drillship has now moved to the Jabillo-1 well in the block and is expected to start drilling today.

The Jabillo-1 well happens to be the second of three exploration wells Exxon had scheduled for drilling in the Canje Block in 2021. The other two are the Bulletwood-1 well and the still to be drilled Sapote-1 well.

Westmount Energy had previously made the announcement that Exxon had commenced drilling the Bulletwood-1 well with the Stena Carron drillship. Westmount had said that Bulletwood-1 was a 500 million barrels of oil prospect, similar to the profitable Liza Field wells.

The company, which itself holds shares in the Canje Block by owning an indirect interest of 7.2 per cent through Exxon’s partner JHI Associates, also published comments attributed to its Chairman, Gerard Walsh.

According to Walsh, the campaign will evaluate deeper reservoir targets, with the possibility of boosting Westmount’s share value.

“Bulletwood-1 is the first well in a multi-well, fully funded drilling campaign being operated by ExxonMobil on the Canje Block over the next six months or so. This campaign will evaluate high impact Upper Cretaceous prospects in the proven Liza play fairway with, in some cases, additional deeper reservoir targets,” Walsh had said.

“It also provides Westmount shareholders exposure to a portfolio of drilling outcomes over a compressed timeframe. Success from some of the wells in this portfolio could result in transformational value changes for Westmount.”

However, news emerged last week that Bulletwood-1, dug 2846 metres below surface, turned up with no oil in commercial quantities. While there were oil reservoirs, it was not of commercial value. The company had subsequently sent out a statement in which it reminded of geological risk inherent in oil exploration.

“Bulletwood-1, the first well in the Canje Block has confirmed our seismic interpretation of the geology and shown evidence of non-commercial hydrocarbons. Geologic risk is inherent to frontier oil and gas exploration activities. Every well in frontier oil and gas exploration provides invaluable data to inform future activities.”

“Our exploration success in Guyana is 80 per cent with 18 discoveries on the Stabroek Block.
We will continue to leverage our deepwater expertise and advanced technology to explore frontier environments with the highest value resource potential,” the company had also said.

Based on information put out by Westmount previously, the Canje Block could hold as much as 10 billion barrels of oil in total. However, it is the Stabroek Block that has gained the most attention for its oil-producing qualities. In 2019, Exxon made five discoveries in the Stabroek Block.

Discoveries were made in the Tilapia-1 well, Haimara-1, Yellowtail-1, Tripletail-1 and Mako-1 wells. These discoveries had pushed the total estimated recoverable barrels of oil equivalent to over six billion.

The company also discovered oil in the Uaru-1 well back in January 2020. Uaru was ExxonMobil’s 16th oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Uaru-1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering approximately 94 feet (29 metres) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir and was drilled in 6342 feet (1933 metres) of water.

In July of 2020, ExxonMobil’s partner in the Stabroek Block, Hess Corporation, had revealed that two high-quality reservoirs offshore Guyana were found in 2020 around the time the company was appraising the Yellowtail-2 well. So far, the Liza-1 well has accounted for all of Guyana’s oil production.

Guyana, with oil giant ExxonMobil as operator, began producing oil on December 20, 2019, in the Stabroek Block.