The Exxon Mobil Corp.-led consortium on July 28 announced yet another significant discovery at Whiptail in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana.
The Whiptail-1 well encountered 246 ft of net pay in high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs, said Exxon Mobil and Hess in separate releases. While Exxon Mobil holds 45% interest in the Stabroek Block, Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30% interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Ltd., holds 25% interest.
“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,” Mike Cousins, senior vice president of exploration and new ventures at Exxon Mobil, said in a statement.
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 ft of water by the Stena DrillMAX. Whiptail-2, which is located 3 miles northeast of Whiptail-1, is currently being drilled in 6,217 ft of water by the Noble Don Taylor.
Drilling is also ongoing at the Whiptail-2 well, which has encountered 167 ft of net pay in high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. Drilling continues at both wells to test deeper targets, and results will be evaluated for future development.
In a separate statement, Hess CEO John Hess commented, “Whiptail is a significant new oil discovery that will add to the discovered recoverable resource estimate of approximately 9 billion barrels of oil equivalent and could underpin a future oil development in the southeast area of the Stabroek Block.”
ExxonMobil envisions at least six projects online by 2027 and sees potential for up to 10 projects to develop its current recoverable resource base.
The companies also noted that the Liza Destiny FPSO vessel is currently producing about 120,000 barrels of oil per day. The startup of Liza Phase 2 remains on target for early 2022, and the Liza Unity FPSO expects to sail from Singapore to Guyana in late August 2021. The Unity has a production capacity of approximately 220,000 barrels of oil per day.
The hull for the Prosperity FPSO vessel is complete, and topsides construction activities are ongoing in Singapore with a startup target of 2024. The first Payara development well was spudded in June 2021, and the offshore SURF installation will begin in 3Q 2021.
A fourth development, Yellowtail, is planned with an anticipated startup in 2025, pending government approvals and project sanctioning. This project will develop the Yellowtail and Redtail fields, which are located approximately 19 miles southeast of the Liza developments, and potentially adjacent resources.
These new projects continue to contribute to the advancement of the Guyanese economy. More than 2,600 Guyanese are now supporting project activities on and offshore, which reflects an increase of more than 20% since the end of 2019. Exxon Mobil and its key contractors have spent approximately $388 million with more than 800 local companies since 2015.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published at 8:53 a.m. CT on July 28.