ExxonMobil announces 6th oil discovery offshore Guyana with Ranger-1; Guyana may move from non-producer to regional powerhouse
ExxonMobil Corporation announced positive results from its Ranger-1 exploration well, marking ExxonMobil’s sixth oil discovery offshore Guyana since 2015. The Ranger-1 well discovery adds to previous world-class discoveries at Liza, Payara, Snoek, Liza Deep and Turbot, which are estimated to total more than 3.2 billion recoverable oil-equivalent barrels.
In October, after ExxonMobil announced its fifth oil discovery after drilling the Turbot well, analysts at energy analytics company Wood Mackenzie observed that Guyana, which is currently a non-oil producing country, might soon become an oil and gas powerhouse in South America. Wood Mackenzie currently expects around 350,000-400,000 b/d of oil production (just oil, not factoring in natural gas) by 2026 from there.
Commenting on the Ranger-1 discovery, Guyana Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman said that:
This is a most historic discovery for Guyana. It will allow for immense transformational development of our nation in the coming years. Despite much naysaying and attacks against this process, I am confident that Guyana is on the right path.
Guyana Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo stated that Guyanese should be optimistic about this new find.
ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd. began drilling the Ranger-1 well on 5 November 2017 and encountered approximately 230 feet (70 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing carbonate reservoir. The well was safely drilled to 21,161 feet (6,450 meters) depth in 8,973 feet (2,735 meters) of water.
This latest success operating in Guyana’s significant water depths illustrates our ultra deepwater and carbonate exploration capabilities. This discovery proves a new play concept for the 6.6 million acre Stabroek Block, and adds further value to our growing Guyana portfolio.—Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company
Following completion of the Ranger-1 well, the Stena Carron drillship will move to the Pacora prospect, 4 miles from the Payara discovery. Additional exploration drilling is planned on the Stabroek Block for 2018, including potential appraisal drilling at the Ranger discovery.
The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometers). Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is operator and holds 45% interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30% interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25% interest.
A former British colony located on the northeast coast of South America, Guyana borders Venezuela, Brazil and Suriname. The country was under explored and no significant oil discoveries were made until 2015.
ExxonMobil initiated oil and gas exploration activities in Guyana in 2008, collecting and evaluating substantial 3-D seismic data that led to the company safely drilling its first exploration well in 2015.
Exploration wells drilled in the Stabroek Block to date include:
Liza-1 well discovery was announced in May 2015
Liza-2 well was drilled and tested in July 2016
Liza-3 well was drilled in October 2016, confirming a world-class resource discovery in excess of 1 billion oil-equivalent barrels
Liza-4 well was drilled in March 2017 and encountered more than 197 feet of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs, which will underpin a potential Liza Phase 2 development
Appraisal drilling at Liza 3 identified an additional high quality deeper reservoir directly below the Liza field, which is estimated to contain resources between 100 and 150 million oil-equivalent barrels
Skipjack-1 was drilled in September 2016; this did not encounter commercial quantities of hydrocarbons
Payara-1 well discovery was announced in January 2017; Payara is ExxonMobil’s second oil discovery on the Stabroek Block and was drilled in a new reservoir – encountering more than 95 feet of high quality, oil bearing sandstone reservoirs
Payara-2 well discovery was announced in July 2017; Payara-2 encountered 59 feet (18 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs
The Payara discovery is estimated at approximately 500 million oil-equivalent barrels
Snoek-1 well discovery was announced in March 2017; Snoek is ExxonMobil’s third oil discovery on the Stabroek Block and was drilled in a new reservoir – encountering more than 82 feet of high quality, oil bearing sandstone reservoirs; the well data will be analyzed in the coming month to better understand the full potential of the well
Turbot-1 well discovery was announced in October 2017, Turbot is ExxonMobil’s fifth oil discovery on the Stabroek Block and was drilled in a new reservoir- encountering 75 feet (23 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs
Ranger-1 well is ExxonMobil’s latest discovery in the prospect
Liza-1. ExxonMobil has already begun development work for Liza-1. The Liza Phase 1 development is approximately 190 kilometers offshore in water depths of 1500 – 1900 meters. The development plan includes completion of a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel designed to produce up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day.
The FPSO facility will develop approximately 450 million barrels of oil from the Liza Field. Four drill centers are envisioned with 17 wells total: eight production wells, with six water injection wells and three gas injection wells to maintain reservoir pressure.