One of the hottest new oilfields in the world, if not the hottest, is the off-shore Guyana-Suriname Basin, where ExxonMobil and a host of other companies are working non-stop to develop it.
PBEX Resources Chairman Wes Perry of Midland says the initiatives “will have an impact on the world market for sure” if ExxonMobil’s projection of almost 11 billion barrels of oil in just one section of the basin off the northeast coast of South America pans out.
“That’s huge and it’s refreshing that that many major companies are working in that area,” Perry said. “But the world needs 100 million barrels a day and it won’t help that much to drive the price down if Guyana-Suriname only supply two or three million bpd.
“I don’t know anyone who likes $150 a barrel oil. From a consumer’s perspective, it’s a real hardship.”
ExxonMobil spokeswoman Meghan Macdonald said from Irving that her company has made three recent discoveries of the very desirable light sweet crude oil in the 6.6-million-acre Stabroek Block 120 miles off-shore from Guyana.
TotalEnergies of France, Qatar Petroleum, Chevron, the Hess Corp., Staatsolie, the national oil company of Suriname, CGX Energy of Toronto, CNOOC from China, Shell, Petronas from Malaysia and Apache and its holding company, the APA Corp., are also working in the area.
With Venezuela to the west and Brazil to the south, Guyana and Suriname had been two of the poorest countries in the world. Guyana encompasses 83,000 square miles and Suriname 64,000 with respective populations of 786,000 and 587,000. Their capitals are Georgetown and Paramaribo. Guyana does not as yet have a national company.
APA spokeswoman Alexandra Franceschi said from Houston that her company’s “leading position in Suriname since 2012 and its five discoveries in the last two years provide strong evidence that the basin has the potential to be a significant new source of lower carbon intensity oil production in the years to come.
“We continue to explore, appraise the discoveries made and invest in the region with plans for long term development,” Franceschi said.
Macdonald said 11 percent of the conventional oil discovered in the world since 2015 has been found off-shore from Guyana. “During the pandemic when others were scaling back, ExxonMobil and our co-venturers continued investing and developing the opportunity in Guyana, helping the country to become an oil exporter in 2020,” she said.
“We recently increased our estimate of recoverable resources in the Stabroek Block to nearly 11 billion barrels and keep in mind that many parts of the Guyana-Suriname Basin remain unexplored.”
Macdonald said her company’s Barreleye No. 1 well was drilled in 3,840 feet of water, encountering 230 feet of oil-laden sandstone, while its Patwa No. 1 found 108 feet of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone upon drilling in 6,315 feet of water and its Lukanani No. 1 discovered 115 feet of oil-bearing rock after drilling down 4,068 feet.
ExxonMobil Upstream Co. President Liam Mallon said those finds “and the updated resource estimate increase the confidence we have in our ambitious exploration strategy for the Stabroek Block and they will help to inform our future development plans for the southeast part of the block.
“ExxonMobil remains committed to delivering value at an accelerated pace to the people of Guyana and our partners and shareholders and reliably supplying affordable energy to meet increasing demand around the world,” Mallon said.
He reported that the company’s two sanctioned projects, the Liza Destiny and Liza Phase 2, are pumping 350,000 barrels of oil per day and a third project, the Payara, will yield 220,000 bpd when the construction of its floating production storage and off-loading ship is completed late this year. The company’s Yellowtail Project will start producing 250,000 barrels a day in 2025, Mallon told the Odessa American.
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