Oil and gas producer Hess Corp. on Jan. 25 forecast a small drop in output and set a $1.9 billion budget for 2021, most of it directed toward Guyana, touted as one of the most important new oil and gas discoveries in the last decade.

Hess, which is a part of a consortium with Exxon Mobil Corp. and China’s CNOOC Ltd., has made 18 discoveries totaling some 8 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas in Guyana’s massive Stabroek Block, southwest of Kaieteur.

Hess forecast net production to average about 310,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in 2021, excluding Libya, compared with 2020 estimate of 325,000 boe/d.

For 2020, the New York-based energy company estimated to spend $1.8 billion.

The company will also add a rig in North Dakota’s Bakken shale play in the first quarter, which operated just a single rig there since May in its efforts to slash production to cope with last year's oil price crash. It had six rigs in the Bakken at the start of last year.