DRILL, DRILL, DRILL

Repsol, the Spanish oil major could soon be next in line to announce a major oil find if its Carapa-1 well that is now being drilled yields up commercial quantities of oil and gas. If this is the case, it will not only join ExxonMobil and Tullow Oil of the United Kingdom with wells yielding large amounts of oil and gas, but it will also mean oil has been found in yet another or a third concession block in the much-heralded Guyana Basin.

Repsol is campaigning in the Kanuku Block, adjacent to where Exxon has so far found 14 large gushing wells in its Stabroek concession and also near to the Orinduik Block where Tullow has already declared massive finds while pursuing a third.

As the country awaits an announcement from the Spanish giant, authorities in Guyana this week celebrated twin commercial successes, one from Exxon named Tripletail and a second from Tullow referred to as Joe-1.

The find appears to confirm suggestions from industry experts worldwide, that the Guyana Basin, which also include fellow Caribbean Community neighor Suriname, is the hottest area for exploration globally and could hold reserves way in excess of the 16 billion barrels that the US Geological Surveys has long touted.

As national excitement lingers from the two announcemets this week, Exxon is preparing to possibly declare yet another success at its Ranger 2 well in the northern portion of the Stabroek Block by the end of the month if not sooner an official said this week.

All this is happening as engineers using robotic machines are working in earnest to hook up wells and other undersea equipment with the Floating Production Stroage and Offloading vessel (FPSO) which will both store and process oil for export to markets. The Liza Destiny arrived in Guyana last month from Singapore where it was outfitted to work as a floating storage facility for production and export.

Officials also said that extensive safety tests are being conducted before an announcement about when Guyana will become the world’s newest oil producer sometime in late November or early December. Such a move could coincide with general elections and could be used by an incumbent government to its advantage on the campaign trail.

And yet a fourth company, Canada-based CGX Energy Inc will soon begin a drilling campaign in its Corentyne Block near the border with Suriname. Officials there are closely monitoring the Guyana success rate. Suriname produces oil from land wells but is yet to find any offshore despite most of the 16 wells found so far in Guyana are very close to its border.

“The Republic of Guyana continues to be encouraged by the prolific rate of discovery in our country. Every Guyanese can be assured that the government will continue to work conscientiously to pursue the most effective and efficient marketing strategies of Guyana’s crude entitlement to transform our economy and to implement sustainable development programmes from which all Guyanese can benefit,” said Mark Bynoe, director of the Department of Energy.

As the race to capitalize on Guyana “sweet, light crude” heats up, Exxon is preparing to bring in a fourth drill ship into the basin to speed up exploration of its massive concession. Officials say this is an indication as to the extent of suspected oil reserves. So far only a tenth of its 6.6 million acres of its concession have been explored.

The Uaru-1 well, about six miles east of the Liza field is next on the agenda of Exxon as the frenetic pace of exploration continues, albeit by three separate mega firms.

Meanwhile, a high level team from the firm’s Houston headquarters, led by Vice-President, Liza Walters is due in Guyana next week for talks with officials. Trips to the FPSO are also scheduled.

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