Exxon takes Noble drillship for Guyana ride

Offshore driller Noble Corp. has found work for its Noble Bob Douglas drillship in Guyana. The contract is with ExxonMobil in Guyana and is for a three-year period.

Noble did not disclose the contract dayrate. The drillship, built in 2013 by Hyundai Heavy Industries, is expected to start working for Exxon in the first half of 2018, and the contract will run until the first or the second quarter of 2021, depending on the start date.

According to Noble’s fleet status report, the drillship in July ended its contract with Murphy Oil in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and will move to Suriname in early October.

Once in Suriname, the rig will start a one-month contract with Tullow, which will be hoping to replicate the recent exploration success made by Exxon in nearby Guyana, when it struck large amounts of oil in Liza and Payara wells.

To remind, Exxon sanctioned the $4.4 billion Liza project, awarding an FPSO contract to SBM Offshore. As for the Payara discovery, Exxon in July said it had discovered additional oil there, increasing the total Payara discovery to approximately 500 million oil-equivalent barrels.

Payara-1 well was announced as ExxonMobil’s second oil discovery on the Stabroek Block off Guyana in early 2017. In order to test a deeper prospect underlying the Payara oil discovery, the Payara-2 well was started in late June.

In a statement in July, Exxon said that that positive results from the Payara-2 well increase the estimated gross recoverable resource for the Stabroek Block, where Liza is also located, to between 2.25 billion oil-equivalent barrels and 2.75 billion oil-equivalent barrels.

While Noble did not say what exactly Exxon will be using the drillship for, it is possible the unit will be used for development drilling on the Liza project. Namely, Exxon has previously said that production from the Liza could start by 2020, and that four drill centers were envisioned for the development with a total of 17 wells, including eight production wells, six water injection wells and three gas injection wells.

The Liza field is located approximately 190 kilometers offshore in water depths of 1,500 to 1,900 meters.  It is a part of the Stabroek Block, which measures 6.6 million acres, or 26,800 square kilometers. Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is operator and holds a 45 percent interest in the block.

Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds a 30 percent interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25 percent.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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