Oil major ExxonMobil has begun drilling the Haimara-1 exploration well offshore Guyana, the first of two planned wells in January.
The Stena Carron drillship is drilling the well, which is located 19 miles (31 kilometers) east of the Pluma-1 discovery in the southeast Stabroek Block, ExxonMobil said on Monday.
The Noble Tom Madden drillship is expected to drill the second well, Tilapia-1, about three miles (five kilometers) west of the Longtail-1 discovery. The Tilapia-1 well is located in the growing Turbot area.
“We continue to prioritize high-potential prospects in close proximity to previous discoveries in order to establish opportunities for material and efficient development,” said Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company.
“Like the Liza and Payara areas, the Turbot area is on its way to offering significant development options that will maximize value for Guyana and our partners.”
Liza Phase 1 in progress
ExxonMobil also said on Monday it is progressing the Liza Phase 1 development, which has moved into its peak execution phase ahead of expected startup in early 2020. Drilling of development wells in the Liza field is continuing using the Noble Bob Douglas drillship, subsea equipment is being prepared for installation, and the topside facilities modules are being installed on the Liza Destiny floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel in Singapore.
Preparations are underway for the beginning of pipe-laying activities in the Liza field in the spring. The Liza Destiny FPSO is expected to sail from Singapore to arrive offshore Guyana in the third quarter of 2019.
According to Exxon, the potential exists for at least five FPSOs on the Stabroek Block producing more than 750,000 barrels of oil per day by 2025. Liza Phase 2 is expected to start up by mid-2022. Pending government and regulatory approvals, project sanction is expected first quarter 2019 and will use a second FPSO designed to produce up to 220,000 barrels per day. Sanctioning of a third development, Payara, is also expected in 2019 with start up as early as 2023.
ExxonMobil also plans to deploy a seismic vessel operated by Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) to the Turbot area to acquire 4D seismic data similar to a 4D campaign conducted in the Liza area in 2017.
A second PGS vessel has been released after seismic acquisition activities were suspended on December 22 when vessels were approached by the Venezuelan navy in the northwest portion of the Stabroek Block.
ExxonMobil noted that the drilling and development operations offshore Guyana are unaffected by the incident, which occurred more than 110 kilometers from the Ranger discovery, the closest of 10 discoveries made by ExxonMobil in the southeast section of the Stabroek Block.
ExxonMobil operates the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana under license from the government of Guyana. The acquisition of seismic data was being conducted under license from the government of Guyana in the country’s exclusive economic zone. ExxonMobil is evaluating next steps for the seismic program.
ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is operator and holds 45 percent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration holds a 30 percent interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds a 25 percent interest.