Guyana makes 17th oil discovery

Guyana is ending the year on a high note with its 17th major oil find, days after His Excellency President David Granger announced that the country had started oil production.

In an address to the nation on Friday, the president noted that production was three months ahead of schedule.

The Head of State also declared December 20 as “National Petroleum Day” as a reminder of the duty to protect the country’s patrimony and to ensure the sustainable management of finite hydrocarbon resources.

“Petroleum production will be a transformative process in the country’s economic development. The petroleum sector will increase employment and expand services. Your government will unavailable the decade of development which will be utilised to provide the good life for all,” he stated.

Three days after his announcement, ExxonMobil announced its 15th find in the Stabroek Block bringing Guyana’s total number of oil discoveries up to 17. Tullow Oil made the other two discoveries on the Orinduik Block.

The Mako-1 well encountered approximately 164 feet (50 metres) of a high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. It was drilled in 5,315 feet (1,620 metres) of water.  Mako-1 is located about six miles (10 kilometres) southeast of the Liza field, from which first oil was drawn. According to ExxonMobil, the discovery adds to the previously announced estimated recoverable resource of more than 6 billion oil-equivalent barrels on the Stabroek Block.

This year has been an eventful one for Guyana as the country ramped up preparations for first oil.  On February 6, ExxonMobil announced two significant discoveries; the Tilapia-1 and Haimara-1 wells in the southwest section of the Stabroek Block, Guyana’s 11th and 12th discoveries.

In April, the Yellowtail-1 well discovery was revealed and was the third of the year and fifth discovery in the Turbot area. The well encountered approximately 292 feet (89 metres) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir at a depth of 18,445 feet (5,622 metres) in 6,046 feet (1,843 metres) of water. It is located some 6 miles (10 kilometres) northwest of the Tilapia discovery.

On August 12, Tullow Oil publicised its first major oil discovery in the Orinduik block making the Jethro-1 well the country’s 14th oil discovery. Director of Guyana’s Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe announced that the European company had struck liquid gold at the exploration well. The Jethro-1 well was drilled by the Stena Forth drillship to a total depth of 4,400 metres in approximately 1,350 metres of water. It is the first discovery on the Orinduik Block and comprises high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs of Lower Tertiary age.

One month later, a double discovery was made. The Joe-1 exploration well was drilled in the Orinduk Block by Tullow while Tripletail-1 was discovered in the Stabroek Block by ExxonMobil.

The Joe-1 exploration well was drilled by the Stena Forth drillship to a total depth of 2,175 metres in a water depth of 780 metres. A few hours after Tullow’s discovery was announced, ExxonMobil reported that it had encountered approximately 108 feet (33 meters) of a high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir at Tripletail-1. The well was drilled in 6,572 feet (2,003 meters) of water, is located approximately 3 miles (5 kilometres) northeast of the Longtail discovery.

Last year was an equally successful year with six discoveries. In January, it disclosed that the Ranger-1 field encountered 230ft of the high-quality oil-bearing reservoir after drilling in 9,000ft of water and 21,000ft into the earth.

The Pacora well discovery was revealed on February 27 while Longtail 1 was announced in June 2018 after striking some 256 feet (78 metres) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. It was drilled to 18,057 feet (5,504 metres) depth in 6,365 feet (1,940 metres) of water.

ExxonMobil began exploration on Hammerhead-1 on July 27, 2018. On August 30, the US oil giant announced that it had encountered approximately 197 feet (60 metres) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. The well was safely drilled to 13,862 feet (4,225 metres) depth in 3,773 feet (1,150 metres) of water.

The Pluma-1 discovery was announced in December 2018 and was ExxonMobil’s 10th oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. It was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering approximately 121 feet (37 metres) of high-quality hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone reservoir. Pluma-1 reached a depth of 16,447 feet (5,013 metres) in 3,340 feet (1,018 metres) of water.

The Turbot, Payara and Snoek wells were discovered in 2017. The Payara- 1 encountered more than 95 feet (29 metres) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs while the Snoek discovery encountered 82 feet (25 metres) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs with Turbot-1 encountering 75 feet (23 metres) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir.

The discovery of the Liza Deep was announced in 2016, and the Liza-1 well discovery was announced in May 2015.  The latter is Guyana’s first significant offshore oil discovery. The find represented more than 295 feet (90 metres) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. It was safely drilled to 17,825 feet (5,433 metres) in 5,719 feet (1,743 metres) of water.

Oil production from the Liza-1 development began on December 20, 2019, using the Liza Destiny, Guyana’s first floating, production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO).

Sources: Extracted from: on January 8, 2020.


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