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Oil Drilling Activity To Jump In Guyana, Suriname

Guyana and Suriname, the new stars on the oil map, are expecting more exploration drilling over the next two years after a string of discoveries revealed the potential of the Guyana-Suriname Basin.

Reuters reports that the two small South American countries attracted the most attention at the recent Offshore Technology Conference in Houston this week, eclipsing even the Gulf of Mexico.

Upstream Online reported this week the Guyana-Suriname Basin could see 10 drilling rigs in 2022 as exploration in the area accelerates. Exxon already has six drillships in Guyana waters, and TotalEnergies has deployed two in Suriname waters. The report notes that 15 companies in total hold drilling rights to acreage in the basin.

“We have unlocked more than 9 billion barrels of oil equivalent in Guyana, and it appears TotalEnergies has discovered another 2 billion boe in Suriname,” Tim Chisholm, exploration VP at Hess, Exxon’s partner in Guyana, said at the Offshore Technology Conference, as quoted by Upstream.

TotalEnergies, which partners with Apache Corp., has made five significant discoveries since last year and is planning to deploy a floating production storage and offloading vessel in Suriname later this decade.

Guyana expects its oil production from already made discoveries in the Stabroek Block, operated by Exxon and Hess, to reach close to 1 million bpd by 2025 or 2026, the country’s natural resources minister, Vickram Bharrat, told Reuters. That would be up from 125,000 bpd at the moment.

This production comes from the Liza well drilled by Exxon and Hess but will next year rise to 220,000 bpd with the addition of a second FPSO on the site.

With oil prospects so bright, Guyana’s government is seeking better royalties and other contract terms, Reuters reported earlier this week. The country plans to form an energy regulator by the end of this year and complete the revision of its production-sharing agreement that will apply to future partners.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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