ExxonMobil and Hess Corp announced positive results from the Payara-1 well offshore Guyana. Payara is ExxonMobil’s second oil discovery on the Stabroek Block and was drilled in a new reservoir. The Payara-1 well targeted similar aged reservoirs that were proven successful at ExxonMobil’s Liza discovery in 2015.
“This important discovery further establishes the area as a significant exploration province,” Steve Greenlee, President of ExxonMobil Exploration Company, said. “We look forward to working with the government and our co-venturers to continue evaluating broader exploration potential on the block and the greater Liza area.”
The well was drilled by ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana and encountered more than 95 ft (29 m) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. It was safely drilled to 18,080 ft (5,512 m) in 6,660 ft (2,030 m) of water. The Payara field discovery is about 10 miles (16 km) northwest of the 2015 Liza discovery.
In addition to the Payara discovery, appraisal drilling at Liza-3 has identified an additional high-quality, deeper reservoir directly below the Liza field, which is estimated to contain between 100 million to 150 million oil equivalent barrels. This additional resource is being evaluated for development in conjunction with the Liza discovery.
“These latest exploration successes are examples of ExxonMobil’s technological capabilities in ultra-deepwater environments, which will enable effective development of the resource for the benefit of the people of Guyana and our shareholders,” Mr Greenlee said.
Drilling on Payara began on 1 November, with initial total depth reached on 2 December. Two sidetracks have been drilled to rapidly evaluate the discovery, and a well test is under way to further evaluate the successful well results. The well data will be analyzed in the coming months to better determine the full resource potential.
The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 sq km). Esso Exploration and Production Guyana is operator and holds 45% interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration holds 30% interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana holds 25% interest.
“The Payara-1 results further demonstrate the prospectivity of the Stabroek block,” Hess CEO John Hess said. “We are excited about Payara, as well as the deeper reservoir identified below the Liza Field. While further appraisal is required, we believe that the resources recently discovered are significant and will be accretive to the more than 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent already confirmed at the Liza discovery.”
The co-venture partners plan to appraise the Liza and Payara discoveries and continue to evaluate the resource potential on the broader Stabroek block with additional exploration drilling and seismic analysis planned for 2017. Upon completion of operations on the Payara-1 well, the Stena Carron drillship will move to the Snoek exploration prospect, which is located approximately 6 miles (10 km) south of the Liza-1 discovery well.