Exxon targets new gas finds, more oil in western portion of Stabroek Block
ExxonMobil Guyana is expected to drill and appraise at least seven wells in the offshore Stabroek Block this year but the company sees itself shifting towards determining what natural gas resources are available while venturing more into the block, west of the Essequibo River.
ExxonMobil’s discoveries to date have largely been concentrated in the central and eastern portions of the Stabroek Block, though Alistair Routledge, President of ExxonMobil Guyana, pointed out that the Liza and Payara projects are “pretty close.”
ExxonMobil will drill at least two wells in the western portion of the Stabroek Block – the Redmouth and Trumpetfish wells.
Drilling these wells in this underexplored area is part of what ExxonMobil terms “anchor hunting” which is basically a move that allows it to potentially find new, possibly commercially- viable, resources.
Should these wells lead to commercially-viable resources, Routledge said ExxonMobil could drill additional wells in the area.
Routledge told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday that the company is focused on two primary areas of exploration and appraisal this year.
Five of the seven wells, he said, will be to help the company to assess the quantity and usability of the natural gas reserves found in the eastern portion of the prolific Stabroek Block that goes all the way towards Suriname.
At wells already drilled, natural gas reserves have been found but there isn’t a full understanding of the reserves that exist in that Block.
“From memory, I think it is about five wells this year between exploration and appraisal, trying to ensure that we hopefully fill in some gaps of where the resource is and also get the dynamic data from the reservoirs to understand how productive those reservoirs are.
“…All of that exploration and appraisal activity going on to assess, really, the resource, so that’s where we are focused this year on our exploration,” Routledge said.
ExxonMobil’s focus on understanding these gas reserves, and possibly harnessing the resources found there, come amid a clear intention of Guyana’s government to speedily harness and monetise natural gas assets offshore.
Already, plans are in place to bring about 50 million standard cubic feet of gas per day onshore from the Liza project in the Stabroek Block.
That gas will be used to fire a power plant at the Wales gas-to-energy project; this highly-touted project, the government said, should halve the cost of electricity across Guyana.
Routledge reminded reporters that the company is responsible for the pipeline that brings the gas from the Stabroek Block to Wales. And according to him, about 40% of the onshore pipeline laying is complete while the offshore portion is about 55% complete.
By the end of the year, Routledge said the entire pipeline should be ready to “introduce gas” onshore but ExxonMobil has to work with Guyanese officials to connect onshore facilities to the pipeline.
The Government of Guyana is also seeking proposals for a 100% privately-owned facility that will allow the country to utilise the natural gas produced locally.