Exxon Makes Another Discovery In This New Oil Hotspot

Tsvetana Paraskova

ExxonMobil has made its 13th oil discovery in the newest hotspot offshore South America, Guyana, striking oil at the Yellowtail well, which adds to estimated recoverable resource on the Stabroek Block of some 5.5 billion oil-equivalent barrels.

The oil discovery at the Yellowtail-1 well is the fifth discovery in the Turbot area offshore Guyana, which ExxonMobil expects to become a major development hub.  

“Similar to the Liza area, successive discoveries in the Turbot area have continuously grown its shared value,” Mike Cousins, senior vice president of ExxonMobil Exploration and New Ventures, said in a statement.

Exxon’s affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is the operator and holds 45 percent interest in the Stabroek Block, a unit of Hess Corporation owns 30 percent, and a wholly owned subsidiary of CNOOC holds the remaining 25-percent interest.

According to Rystad Energy’s annual exploration review, Exxon was the world’s top oil and gas explorer in 2018, thanks to its significant investment in Guyana.

Exxon has said that there is potential for at least five floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels on the Stabroek Block producing more than 750,000 bpd by 2025.

“Startup of the Liza Phase 1 development is on track to begin by the first quarter of 2020 and will produce up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day utilizing the Liza Destiny FPSO, which is expected to arrive in country in the third quarter,” Exxon said today.

Liza Phase 2 is expected to startup by the middle of 2022, with a final investment decision expected soon and subject to government and regulatory approvals. The Liza Phase 2 project would use a FPSO to produce up to 220,000 bpd, while sanctioning of a third development, Payara, is also expected this year, with start-up planned for 2023.

Exxon is now primarily focused on getting the most of the Permian and of the Guyana discoveries, which are its key growth areas for the coming years.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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