Exxon cleared to drill massive 35-well campaign offshore
Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), ExxonMobil’s local subsidiary, has been cleared to conduct a 35-well exploration and appraisal drilling campaign offshore in the prolific Stabroek Block offshore Guyana.
A notice from Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), issued on Sunday, stated that the project was approved.
“The EPA is satisfied that the project can be conducted in accordance with good environmental practices, and in a manner that avoids, prevents and minimises any adverse effects which could result from the activity,” the notice read.
It also noted that the Environmental Assessment Board reviewed and declared the Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment of the cumulative effects related to the project acceptable in accordance with Guyana’s Environmental Protection Act.
According to the 2000+ page Environmental Impact Assessment of the cumulative effects of the multi-well campaign, this new project, alongside other ongoing projects, could result in significant cumulative environmental impacts.
These include potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts including an unplanned event such as an oil spill.
The exact locations of the 35 wells comprising the project have not been finalised and it was noted that while some of the wells will be drilled for exploration purposes, it is also possible that some of the wells may be drilled as appraisal wells within the proximity of previously drilled exploration areas.
It is likely that EEPGL will take several years to execute this project; it is scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2023 and be completed by 2028.
Already, there have been more than 30 discoveries in the Stabroek Block. Oil production in excess of 360,000 barrels per day is ongoing at the Liza Phase I and Liza Phase II projects in the Block.