The drillship Stena DrillMAX. Photo:

ExxonMobil Makes Significant New Oil Discovery Off Guyana

Mike Schuler
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July 28, 2021

ExxonMobil has announced a significant new oil discovery offshore Guyana, adding to its growing list of successful exploration campaign off the South American nation.

The discovery was made at Whiptail in the Stabroek Block where the Stena DrillMAX drillship encountered 246 feet of net pay in high quality oil bearing sandstone reservoirs. Drilling is also ongoing at the Whiptail-2 using Noble Don Taylor.

The Whiptail discovery is located approximately 4 miles southeast of the Uaru-1 discovery that was announced in January 2020 and approximately 3 miles west of the Yellowtail field. Whiptail-1 is being drilled in 5,889 feet of water. Whiptail-2, located 3 miles northeast of Whiptail-1, is currently being drilled in 6,217 feet of water. Drilling is continueing at both wells to test deeper targets.

ExxonMobil said the latest discovery could form the basis for a future development in the Stabroek Block.

“This discovery increases our confidence in the resource size and quality in the southeast area of the Stabroek Block and could form the basis for a future development as we continue to evaluate the best sequence of development opportunities within the block,” said Mike Cousins, senior vice president of exploration and new ventures at ExxonMobil.

ExxonMobil sees at least six projects online by 2027 and sees potential for up to 10 projects to develop its current recoverable resource base. Meanwhile, the Liza Destiny floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel is currently producing about 120,000 barrels of oil per day.

The Stabroek Block comprises 6.6 million acres and is operated by ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, holding 45 percent interest. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30 percent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds 25 percent interest.

ExxonMobil has been operating in Guyana since 2008 and made its first significant discovery, Liza-1, in 2015. The company began production in December 2019 from the Liza Phase 1 development.

The latest discovery would add to estimated recoverable resources from the Stabroek Block of approximately eight billion oil equivalent barrels, including Liza and other successful exploration wells on Payara, Liza deep, Snoek, Turbot, Ranger, Pacora, Longtail, Hammerhead, Pluma, Tilapia, Haimara, Yellowtail, Tripletail and Mako.

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