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Exxon continues hunt for oil at Bluefin prospect

Exxon continues hunt for oil at Bluefin prospect

ExxonMobil, News, Oil & Gas

Kaieteur News – ExxonMobil Guyana Limited (EMGL), the operator of the Stabroek Block is presently conducting exploration drilling activities at the Bluefin_1 Well Site in the Stabroek Block, offshore Guyana.

According to a recent Public Notice, issued by the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), the MODU Stena DrillMax will be engaged in the drilling activities which are expected to conclude on October 31, 2023. It added that 24 other vessels will also be used as part of the exploration works.

The well site is situated approximately 117.1 nautical miles or 216.9 kilometers off the Coast of Guyana and covers an area of 0.29 square nautical miles (1 square kilometer). Mariners have been advised to stay clear of the vessels and navigate with extreme caution when in the vicinity. Since 2015, ExxonMobil has made 36 discoveries in the prolific Stabroek Block- its most recent, the Lancetfish-1, announced in April this year. The company’s first discovery for 2023, the Fangtooth SE-1 well was announced in January. The two discoveries add to the 11 billion barrels of oil already found in the resource-rich Stabroek Block.

The Stabroek Block is a massive 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometers). ExxonMobil holds 45% interest, while Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30% interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25% interest.

Map of the Stabroek Block showing the first 15 discoveries made offshore

Map of the Stabroek Block showing the first 15 discoveries made offshore

It is the largest oil block in the country and some argue, even the World. The unusual size of the Block is however no more unusual than the agreement which governs the acreage. But even with Guyanese protesting against the deal, the oil giant remains focused on extracting the resources discovered offshore with the blessings of the PPP government.

In fact, ExxonMobil has been recognised for its unmatched pace of development taking place in Guyana. In May 2023, Kaieteur News reported that the American oil giant received an award for the rapid speed its affiliate EMGL was able to develop the Liza Phase One in the country’s Stabroek Block. The company received the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) Distinguished Achievement Award 2023 for companies, organizations, and institutions on April 30.

According to a statement from OTC, ExxonMobil received the award for their innovative work that has resulted in Liza Phase 1 being one of the fastest projects of its type in the industry, cycling from discovery to production in less than five years, compared to the historical 10-year timeline for projects of this magnitude.

It was added that Liza Phase 2 then came online about two years after Liza Phase 1 and within eight years of discovery, total production from the Liza field is approaching 400,000 barrels per day — helping to responsibly meet the world’s energy needs at a critical time.

“Prior to the Liza Development, Guyana had no active offshore oil industry, and little was known about its metocean and seabed conditions. ExxonMobil Guyana applied technology and novel execution approaches to discover, define and rapidly develop the Liza field in a frontier oil and gas location, turning it into one of the most successful deepwater developments in the world,” OTC said in the statement.

Notably, Exxon’s performance is in line with Guyana’ Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo request for the oil and gas companies to accelerate exploration.

Back in February, President of ExxonMobil’s Upstream Company, Liam Mallon had boasted about the breakneck speed with which ExxonMobil Guyana was able to cut the time in half to move from exploration to production in a deepwater project.

Mallon was at the time speaking at the second International Energy Conference and Expo 2023 being held at the Guyana Marriott Hotel. He underscored that since the first discovery in 2015, the estimate of Guyana’s resource has grown to nearly 11 billion barrels, which makes it the largest in industry in the past decade.  “In total we’ve made more than 30 discoveries, and we’re still exploring Guyana’s vast potential,” Mallon added. Mallon continued, “And really critically, we moved from the very first Liza 1 exploration well to first production nearly three years ago in under five years. That is roughly half the industry average time for a typical deep water development.” Notably, Mallon stated too that in total, the oil major anticipates having six projects online with a capacity of more than 1.2 million barrels per day by end of 2027.