Discovery at Uaru-2 offshore Guyana

Source: press releases, 27 April 2021

The Stabroek Block, located approximately 200 kilometres offshore Guyana, is 626,800 square kilometres
The Stabroek Block, located approximately 200 kilometres offshore Guyana, is 626,800 square kilometres (illustration: Hess)

ExxonMobil has reported an oil discovery at the Uaru-2 well in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. Uaru-2 will add to the previously announced gross discovered recoverable resource estimate for the block, which is currently estimated to be approximately 9 billion oil-equivalent barrels. Drilling at Uaru-2 encountered approximately 36.7 metres of high-quality oil-bearing reservoirs including newly identified intervals below the original Uaru-1 discovery. The well was drilled in 1,725 metres of water and is located approximately 11 kilometres south of the Uaru-1 well.

“The Uaru-2 discovery enhances our work to optimally sequence development opportunities in the Stabroek Block,” says Mike Cousins, senior vice president of exploration and new ventures at ExxonMobil. “Progressing our industry-leading investments and well-executed exploration plans are vital in order to continue to develop Guyana’s offshore resources that unlock additional value for the people of Guyana and all stakeholders.”

In January 2020, ExxonMobil announced that Uaru-1 was the 16th discovery in the Stabroek Block. The well encountered approximately 29 metres of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir and was drilled in 1,933 metres of water.

In March 2021, ExxonMobil secured a sixth drillship, the Noble Sam Croft, for exploration and evaluation drilling activities offshore Guyana. A fourth project, Yellowtail, has been identified within the block with anticipated start up in late 2025 pending government approvals and project sanctioning. This project will develop the Yellowtail and Redtail fields, which are located about 30 kilometres southeast of the Liza developments.

“The Uaru-2 discovery will add to the discovered recoverable resource estimate of approximately 9 billion barrels of oil equivalent,” Hess CEO John Hess says. “We expect to have at least six FPSOs on the Stabroek Block by 2027, with the potential for up to 10 FPSOs to develop the current discovered recoverable resource base.”

The start-up of Liza Phase 2 remains on target for 2022, as the Liza Unity FPSO prepares for sail away from Singapore to Guyana later this year. The Unity FPSO has a production capacity of 220,000 barrels of oil per day at peak rates. The hull for the Prosperity FPSO vessel, the third project at the Payara Field, is complete, and topsides construction activities have commenced in Singapore with a start-up target of 2024.

These new projects continue to drive investment in the Guyanese economy. More than 2,300 Guyanese are now supporting project activities on and offshore, which reflects a more than 20% increase since the end of 2019. ExxonMobil and its key contractors have spent approximately USD 388 million with more than 800 local companies since 2015.

The Stabroek Block is 26,800 square kilometres. ExxonMobil affiliate 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 Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds 25% interest.