ExxonMobil discovers oil at Whiptail, offshore Guyana

Aug. 9, 2021

ExxonMobil discovered oil at Whiptail in Stabroek block offshore Guyana that could form the basis for a future development and adds to the previous recoverable resource estimate of 9 billion boe, the operator said in a July 28 release.

Whiptail-1 encountered 246 ft (75 m) of net pay in high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. Drilling is ongoing at Whiptail-2, which has encountered 167 ft (51 m) of net pay in high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. Drilling continues at both wells to test deeper targets.

The Whiptail discovery lies some 4 miles southeast of the Uaru-1 discovery that was announced in January 2020 and about 3 miles west of Yellowtail field. Whiptail-1 is being drilled in 5,889 ft (1,795 m) of water by the Stena DrillMAX. Whiptail-2, which lies 3 miles northeast of Whiptail-1, is currently being drilled in 6,217 ft (1,895 m) of water by the Noble Don Taylor.

ExxonMobil envisions at least six projects online by 2027 and sees potential for up to 10 projects to develop its current recoverable resource base.

The Liza Destiny floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel is currently producing about 120,000 b/d of oil.

Startup of Liza Phase 2 remains on target for early 2022, and the Liza Unity FPSO expects to sail from Singapore to Guyana in late August 2021. The Unity has a production capacity of 220,000 b/d of oil.

The hull for the Prosperity FPSO vessel is complete, and topsides construction activities are ongoing in Singapore with a startup target of 2024. The first Payara development well was spudded in June 2021, and the offshore SURF installation will begin in this year’s third quarter.

Yellowtail has been identified as the fourth development project in Stabroek block with anticipated startup in 2025. Following government approvals and a final investment decision, the project will develop Yellowtail and Redtail fields, which lie about 19 miles (30 km) southeast of the Liza developments, and potentially adjacent resources.

Stabroek block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 sq km). ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd. is operator with 45% interest. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30% interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Ltd., a subsidiary of CNOOC Ltd., holds 25%.