ExxonMobil's Guyana Offshore E&P Program Gains Momentum

Liza Destiny, the first FPSO for the Liza field. Liza-1 began production Friday (image courtesy SBM Offshore)

By The Maritime Executive 12-23-2019 08:01:00

ExxonMobil announced Monday that it has extended its run of successful exploration wells off the coast of Guyana, a frontier region with considerable promise for oil and gas development. 

Exxon made an oil discovery offshore Guyana at the Mako-1 well southeast of its existing Liza field, its fifteenth discovery on its Stabroek Block lease area. The discovery adds to the previously announced estimated recoverable resource of more than six billion barrels of oil equivalent in the block. 

The Mako-1 well encountered about 50 meters of oil-bearing sandstone below about 5,300 feet of water depth. The site is just six miles away from Liza, well within range for a possible subsea tieback development.  

“New discoveries in this world-class basin have the potential to support additional developments,” said Mike Cousins, SVP of exploration ExxonMobil. “Our proprietary full-wave seismic inversion technology continues to help us better define our discovered resource and move rapidly to the development phase.”

The announcement comes just days after the Liza field entered into production. The Liza Phase 1 development achieved first oil on Friday and will produce up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day using an FPSO vessel. 

A second FPSO will be deployed for the second phase of the Liza development, and it will have a production capacity of 220,000 barrels of oil per day. It is under construction and is expected to start production by mid-2022.

According to project partner Hess, production could start at the Payara Field north of the Liza discoveries as early as 2023. Payara could produce up to an estimated 220,000 gross barrels of oil per day. Permitting and project sanctioning for the third development is still pending. 

Total expands in Suriname

Total announced Monday that it has signed an agreement with Apache Corporation to acquire a 50 percent working interest and operatorship in Block 58 offshore Suriname, expanding Total’s footprint in the Guyana-Suriname basin. 

Block 58 is directly adjacent to Guyana/Exxon's Stabroek Block. Apache is currently drilling the Maka-1 exploration well is currently being drilled on the block, and Total says that preliminary results confirm the potential of the license. Apache plans to drill two more exploration wells after Maka-1, then transfer operatorship to Total.