ExxonMobil has struck two new discoveries offshore Guyana. The finds at the Tilapia-1 and Haimara-1 wells bring up to 12 the number of discoveries the company and its partners have made in the Stabroek Block.
The US super-major said Tilapia-1 was the fourth find to be made in the Turbot area, which also includes the Turbot, Longtail and Pluma finds. The area has been identified as a major development hub.
Tilapia-1 was drilled by the Noble Tom Madden ship and encountered around 93 metres of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. Situated around 5.5 km west of the Longtail-1 well, Tilapia-1 was drilled to a depth of 5,726 metres in 1,783 metres of water.
The Haimara-1 well discovered approximately 63 metres of high-quality, gas-condensate bearing sandstone reservoir. This well was drilled to a depth of 5,575 metres in 1,399 metres of water. It was drilled by the Stena Carron drillship and is located around 31 km east of the Pluma-1 well.
The Noble Tom Madden is now moving to drill the Yellowtail-1 well, which is also in the Turbot area and is around 10 km west of Tilapia-1. Baseline 4-D seismic data gathering is under way in the area. Meanwhile, the Stena Carron is due to return to Longtail to finish well testing work there.
The new finds bolster the most recent reserve estimate for the block, which anticipated recoverable barrels above the 5 billion boe mark.
ExxonMobil is the operator with a 45% stake in the block, while Hess (30%) and CNOOC Nexen (25%) are its partners. The consortium believes the Stabroek Block has the potential for at least five FPSOs, and aims to be producing more than 750,000 bpd by 2025.
Liza Phase 1 has moved into peak execution phase, with first oil expected in early 2020 before it ramps up to 120,000 bpd. The second phase of Liza has a targeted start-up of mid-2022, and a third development, Payara, could come on line as early as 2023.
ExxonMobil’s announcement comes as a political crisis grips Guyana. A vote of no-confidence in the government in December has been upheld by a judge, which could result in a general election in the country in the near future.
The consortium developing the Stabroek Block has sought to assure shareholders that the growing political risk in the country will not affect their operations. On a quarterly earnings call on February 1, ExxonMobil’s CEO Darren Woods said he did not "have any concerns about the political dynamics" in Guyana, stressing his company’s mind-set when it enters a country is "to be there for a lifetime – 30 to 40 years."