GEORGETOWN – Days after announcing its discovery of hydrocarbons, oil and gas giant ExxonMobil is now reporting the discovery of oil-bearing rock in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana.
The United States-based oil company said the Liza-1 well has encountered more than 295 feet of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs.
The well is the first on the 6.6-million acre Stabroek Block and has been drilled to 17,825 feet. It was drilled by ExxonMobil local subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd.
ExxonMobil’s President, Stephen Greenlee said he was encouraged by the results of the first well on the Stabroek Block.
He assured that over the coming months the company will work to determine the commercial viability of the discovered resource as well as evaluate other resource potential on the block.
The well was spud on March 5, 2015. According to him, the well data will be analysed in the coming months to better determine the full resource potential.
Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd has a 45 per cent interest in the block. Hess Guyana Exploration Limited holds 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25 per cent interest.
Former Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud had said that any discovery of oil would be a significant boost to Guyana’s economy.
The oil company has made headway amid the border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela, where the latter remains adamant that the area where the US company is drilling is within its territory.
In early March, the oil and gas company, one of the largest in the world, was warned by the Spanish-speaking country to refrain from going ahead with its planned exploratory drilling activity, on a concession awarded by Guyana offshore its Essequibo Coast. Guyana, however, requested that Venezuela not interfere in its development activities.
Venezuela has repeatedly laid claim to the area being explored, ignoring an 1899 Arbitral Tribunal Award, which was declared as the full and final settlement of the boundary between the two South American nations. With Venezuela’s obdurate insistence on its position, Guyana is considering judicial settlement of the boundary.
The multibillion-dollar oil exploration project, which is expected to be executed over 10 years, got underway early last month. Guyana has been receiving sustained international attention from huge companies, especially in the oil sector, after the US Geological Survey said in 2000 that the Guyana-Suriname Basin has the second largest unexplored oil potential in the world after Greenland.