By Jarryl Bryan
Oil and gas companies throughout the world have discovered over seven billion barrels of oil equivalent for the year 2019, but of this amount, Guyana has the second most discoveries so far in the year.
This is according to Norwegian research company Rystad Energy, which compiled a report on all the discoveries of oil around the world and came up with a list of the top 10 countries. Russia is in the lead, with over 1.5 billion barrels of oil found in its Dinkov and Nyarmeyskoye oil fields.
Russia is followed closely by Guyana, where oil was found in the Liza 1 field in the Stabroek block by United States (US) based ExxonMobil and in the Orinduik block by British oil firm Tullow. These companies are not finished drilling, as further projects are being undertaken.
A distant third is the middle eastern country of Cyprus. They are followed by South Africa, Malaysia, Norway, Angola and Indonesia. The United Kingdom (UK) and the US bring up the rear on the top 10 oil finds list.
Commenting on the steep rise in oil drilling in the Caribbean, the report noted that in 2013, only seven offshore wells were drilled in the region. Now, the report noted, 23 new exploration wells are expected for 2019.
“Rystad Energy expects the Guyana-Suriname basin will continue to occupy headlines with a few planned wells in both Guyana and Suriname. The basin is pinned as one of the most prospective, underexplored basins in the world and will definitely get a facelift from its current assigned volumes if hydrocarbons are established towards the east,” a statement from the company says.
So far, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL, Exxon’s local subsidiary) has made 14 oil finds in the Stabroek block over 100 miles offshore Guyana, including four for this year.
Last year, the company made five discoveries. These discoveries have pushed the total estimated recoverable barrels of oil equivalent to over six billion. In addition, Exxon is moving ahead with its Liza Phase Two project, which will contain approximately 30 wells.
The Liza Destiny, Guyana’s first Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, arrived in Guyana’s waters at the end of August. The vessel will play a key role in oil production, scheduled to begin in the first quarter of next year.
Meanwhile, Tullow has made at least two oil finds in its Jethro and Joe wells. On September 16, the same day that ExxonMobil announced its 14th oil find, Tullow also revealed that it had made its second oil find in just a matter of weeks – the discovery of 14 metres of oil reservoirs at the Joe well.
After the find, Tullow’s Exploration Director, Angus McCoss, had noted that the discovery increases the potential in the Orinduik block. He had also alluded to the block having multibillion-barrel potential.
The Orinduik oil block is just a few kilometres from Exxon’s discoveries in the Liza and Payara fields. It is under the administration of Eco Guyana and Tullow, who signed a 10-year Petroleum Prospecting Licence and Production Sharing Agreement with Guyana in 2016. French firm Total E&P Activities Petrolieres entered the fray in 2017, partnering with Eco and getting a 25 per cent share in the block.