ExxonMobil yet to fully quantify Stabroek Block discoveries to date

Last Updated on Friday, 27 July 2018, 20:34 by Denis Chabrol

The Ranger well.

ExxonMobil on Friday indicated that it has not fully estimated the amount of commercially available oil that has been discovered so far at the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, saying that it was still to quantify the Ranger well.

“We have some more appraisal wells to go in Ranger.We know, of course, from our discovery that we have a considerable resource. We are not in a position where we can quantify that right now,”  Neil Chapman, Senior Vice President of ExxonMobil told the the company’s 2nd Quarter 2018 financial and operating results conference call.

The United States oil giant earlier this month upped its resource estimate of the block to more than 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent after an appraisal of Liza-5 appraisal well, discovery at Ranger, incorporation of the eighth discovery, Longtail, into the Turbot area evaluation and completion of the Pacora discovery evaluation. The previous estimated total resource was 3.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

At the current estimate, production is expected to be 750,000 barrels per day 2025, using five Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels.

In response to a question from one of the participants, Chapman said ExxonMobil’s focus was mostly on value than merely quantity as is the case with the oil discoveries in the Guyana offshore basin and the US’ Permian basin

“We are not focussed on volume. We’re focussed on value,” he said. Chapman said the company would determine the pace of its developments offshore Guyana and in the Permian Basin where there have been significant discoveries in recent months.  “We will develop them at the pace that we think is best for capital efficiency and the best in terms of value,” he said.

Experts have said that assay tests have shown that Guyana’s oil quality is light, sweet crude which means that it contains low amounts of impurities such as sulphur and this makes it cheaper to process.

Describing the progress in the Stabroek Block as “really excellent”,  Neil Hansen, Vice President and Secretary said a third drill-ship would soon be added to work alongside the Stena Carron “to explore the block’s numerous high value additional prospects”.

Hansen remarked that ExxonMobil and the Guyana government were in very early talks about extracting some of the the natural gas to generate cheap electricity. He noted that the overwhelming amount of fossil fuels discovered in the Stabroek Block is oil, not natural gas. “I’m not going to give you a number in terms of oil and gas here…It’s primarily oil. Currently what we are doing with the gas, at least the plan for the most part inject to it to help recovery,” he said.

“I won’t give you a number but I will tell you it is primarily oil. It has a relatively low gas content,” he added.

Guyana hopes that ExxonMobil will land a pipeline in the vicinity of Mahaicony to transport natural gas from the well to the state-owned Guyana Power and Light to supply generators.

The company used the opportunity to boast that 50 percent of ExxonMobil’s employees, contractors and sub-contractors are Guyanese, a figure that is expected to grow as operations progress. The company said that it spent about US$24 million with more than 300 local suppliers in 2017.