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Exxon starts drilling exploration well in Stabroek block offshore Guyana

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Exxon starts drilling exploration well in Stabroek block offshore Guyana

Oil major Exxon Mobil Corp. said Jan. 7 that the Stena Carron drillship has started drilling the first of two exploration wells planned for the month in its operated Stabroek block offshore Guyana.

The well, called Haimara-1, is 31 kilometers east of the Pluma-1 discovery in the southeastern part of the block. The second well, Tilapia-1, will be drilled by the Noble Tom Madden drillship and is five kilometers west of the Longtail-1 discovery.

The U.S. oil major said the Liza Phase 1 development has entered into its "peak execution phase" ahead of its startup in 2020. The Noble Bob Douglas drillship continues to drill development wells in the Liza field. Subsea equipment is being prepared for installation, and the floating, production, storage and offloading, or FPSO, vessel Liza Destiny, which is expected to arrive offshore Guyana in the third quarter, is having its topside facilities installed in Singapore.

Exxon said the Stabroek Block could have five FPSOs producing more than 750,000 barrels of oil per day by 2025. Liza Phase 2 is projected to start up in mid-2022 following government and regulatory approvals, while the Payara development is expected to begin as early as 2023. Project sanctioning for Liza Phase 2 is expected in the first quarter, and Payara is also slated for the year.

The Stabroek block is operated by Exxon subsidiary Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd. with a 45% stake. Hess Corp. subsidiary Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. has a 30% interest, and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Ltd. holds the remaining 25%.