Payara pays off for Exxon in Guyana

ExxonMobil has hit gold offshore Guyana with its new ultra deepwater Payara discovery, in addition to upping its ante at the giant Liza field.

The Stena Carron, from Stena Drilling.

The supermajor revealed positive results from its Payara-1 well, marking its second oil discovery on the 6.6 million acre (26,800sq km) Stabroek Block.

At Payara-1, Exxon affiliate Esso E&P Guyana, encountered more than 95ft (29m) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. The well was drilled to 18,080ft (5512m) in 6660ft (2030m) water depth. The well targeted similar aged reservoirs that were proven successful at the company’s 2015 Liza discovery.

The Payara field is about 10mi (16km) northwest of Liza.

“This important discovery further establishes the area as a significant exploration province,” said Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Co. “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.”

Drilling on Payara began on 12 November, with initial total depth reached on 2 December. Two sidetracks were subsequently drilled, and a production test is planned to further evaluate the discovery. Appraisal drilling is planned beginning later this year to determine the full resource potential of the Payara discovery, Exxon said.

“The Payara-1 results further demonstrate the prospectivity of the Stabroek block,” John Hess, CEO of HessCorp. 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 boe already confirmed at the Liza discovery.”

In addition to the Payara, appraisal drilling at Liza-3 identified an additional high quality, deeper reservoir directly below the Liza field, which is estimated to contain between 100-150 MMboe, Exxon confirmed. This additional resource is currently 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,” Greenlee said.

According to Hess, 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 6mi (10km) south of the Liza-1 discovery well.

Exxon subsidiary Esso E&P Guyana operates the Stabroek Block (45%) along with partners Hess Guyana Exploration (30%) and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana (25%).

Read more:

Exxon's Liza confirmed as commercial

Exxon's Liza-3 proves successful

ExxonMobil's Liza holds up to 1.4 billion boe

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