U.S. oil and gas giant ExxonMobil has made two oil discoveries at Fangtooth-1 and Lau Lau-1 wells located in the prolific Stabroek block offshore Guyana.

In a statement on Wednesday, ExxonMobil confirmed that the Fangtooth-1 well encountered approximately 164 feet (50 meters) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. The well was drilled in 6,030 feet (1,838 meters) of water and is located approximately 11 miles (18 kilometres) northwest of the Liza field.

Furthermore, the Lau Lau-1 well encountered approximately 315 feet (96 meters) of high-quality hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone reservoirs. The well was drilled in 4,793 feet (1,461 meters) of water and is located approximately 42 miles (68 kilometres) southeast of the Liza field.

These discoveries will add to the previously announced recoverable resource estimate for the block, of 10 billion oil-equivalent barrels, according to ExxonMobil.

Mike Cousins, senior vice president of exploration and new ventures at ExxonMobil, said: “The Fangtooth discovery is a successful result of our strategy to test deeper prospectivity, and the Lau Lau discovery adds to the large inventory of development opportunities in the southeast part of the Stabroek block. Both discoveries increase our understanding of the resource, our continued confidence in the block’s exploration potential, and our view that the many discoveries to date could result in up to 10 development projects.”

Fangtooth was drilled by the Stena DrillMAX, and Lau Lau was drilled by the Noble Don Taylor, which are two of six drillships supporting exploration and development drilling across three blocks operated by ExxonMobil offshore Guyana.

Noble Don Taylor; Source: Noble Corp.

Separately, ExxonMobil said that progress continues on infrastructure for future field development. The Liza Unity floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel is undergoing hookup and commissioning after arriving in Guyanese waters in October 2021. The Unity is on track to start production in the first quarter of 2022 and has a target of 220,000 barrels of oil per day at peak production.

The hull for the Prosperity FPSO vessel, the third project on the Stabroek block at the Payara field is complete and topside construction activities are ongoing in Singapore for planned production start-up in 2024. The Field Development Plan and Environmental Impact Assessment for the fourth potential project, Yellowtail, have been submitted for government and regulatory review.

The Stabroek block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). ExxonMobil’s affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana is the operator and holds 45 per cent interest. Hess Guyana Exploration holds 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25 per cent interest.

Hess CEO, John Hess, commented: “Both discoveries further underpin our queue of future low-cost development opportunities. We continue to see the potential for at least six FPSOs on the Stabroek Block in 2027 with a production capacity of more than 1 million gross barrels of oil per day, and up to 10 FPSOs to develop the discovered resources on the block.”

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