‘Unmatched success’ – Exxon Chairman says more than 11% of world’s recent oil discoveries from Guyana


By Vishani Ragobeer


With nearly 30 profitable oil discoveries offshore Guyana since 2015, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of ExxonMobil Darren Woods says that there has been “unmatched success” in Guyana with even greater success expected in the coming years.

“Our collective success here is unmatched in modern history,” Woods said during his short presentation to the 2022 International Energy Conference and Expo being hosted in Guyana this week at the Marriott Hotel.

ExxonMobil’s Chairman and CEO Darren Woods

In 2019, just less than five years since oil was first discovered offshore Guyana, ExxonMobil started production at the Liza Phase 1 development located in Guyana’s Stabroek block. Less than a week ago, production at Guyana’s second offshore oil development- Liza Phase 2- commenced.

With production ongoing in both development areas, the company’s production capacity offshore has increased to more than 340,000 barrels per day.

Putting Guyana’s discoveries into context, Woods highlighted: “…  since 2015, more than 11 per cent of the conventional oil discovered in the world has been found right here in Guyana.”

And this, the Chairman said, is only the beginning for Guyana.

With current estimates, the Stabroek block contains the equivalent of more than 10 billion oil-equivalent barrels- a substantial amount with further exploration still ongoing.

Beyond the Liza Phase 2 development, ExxonMobil is expected to start a third project, Payara before moving onto yet another development, Yellowtail.

Importantly, during the Budget debates, Guyana’s Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat announced that $88 million has been allocated for the review and evaluation of another field development plan- Uaru. That would be ExxonMobil’s fifth development offshore Guyana.

The Liza Destiny moored offshore Guyana

“… we anticipate having six projects producing by 2027 … and see the potential for up to four more in later years,” Woods said too.

This could result in Guyana’s Stabroek block producing more than one million barrels of oil daily by 2030.

“This progress is virtually unprecedented. In just 15 years, Guyana’s production has gone from nothing to potentially more than 1 million barrels per day,” Woods added.

The remarks from the top Exxon official add to what was said by the President of ExxonMobil Guyana Alistair Routledge just recently.

Routledge, in a pre-recorded statement provided to the local media corps, stated that the profitable discoveries found offshore Guyana, coupled with the accelerated rate of production, is “quite outstanding”.

“We tend to forget this is still a frontier exploration region so the success rate we’re having really speaks to the technology we’re able to bring (and) the experience from similar basins around the world,” Routledge said then.

A frontier region, for context, refers to a region where there is no guarantee that profitable reserves will be found. And so, companies searching for oil often make high-risk investments.

Meanwhile, at the conference, Guyana’s Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said that the government supports accelerated exploration offshore Guyana.

“Our incentive regimes will reflect that support for accelerated exploration,” he told the gathering of stakeholders.

Importantly, however, he noted that the government will either auction the remaining oil blocks or alternatively, use those blocks to form a national oil company. These decisions will be made by the third quarter of this year.

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