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ExxonMobil said on Tuesday it had made its 18th oil discovery offshore Guyana, which adds to its previous estimate of more than 8 billion barrels of discovered recoverable resources in the area.
In less than five years, Exxon and its partners in the Stabroek Block – Hess Corporation and a unit of China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) –made more than a dozen quality discoveries on the block, making Guyana the newest oil-producing nation in December 2019.
Earlier this year, Exxon revised upward its estimate of recoverable resources offshore Guyana by 2 billion barrels of oil equivalent to 8 billion oil-equivalent barrels, as it announced its 16th oil discovery on the Stabroek Block.
The recoverable resource base of 8 billion oil-equivalent barrels includes the fifteen previous discoveries that ExxonMobil and its partners had made offshore Guyana until the end of 2019. The new discovery, at the Uaru well, is just 10 miles northeast of the Liza oilfield, which is already producing oil.
Guyana officially joined the ranks of oil-producing nations at the end of December 2019, after Exxon and its partners began oil production offshore the South American country.
The latest discovery announced on Tuesday, Redtail-1, is located 1.5 miles northwest of the Yellowtail discovery, underpinning future development.
“Our Stabroek Block exploration program continues to identify high-quality reservoirs in close proximity to previous discoveries, establishing efficient opportunities for new projects in Guyana,” Mike Cousins, senior vice president of exploration and new ventures at ExxonMobil, said in a statement.
“Developing these projects remains an integral part of ExxonMobil and our co-venturers’ long-term growth plans and a source of significant value for Guyana,” Cousins added.
The new government in Guyana, however, is looking to raise the requirement for local content in employment and procurement of goods and services for offshore oil projects, which could raise those requirements for ExxonMobil, the biggest foreign developer of Guyana’s huge oil resources.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com