While politicians and anti-corruption advocates alike continue to call for more transparency in the activities of ExxonMobil and its negotiations with the Government of Guyana, the oil giant continues to move closer to
getting its production licence. Kaieteur News understands that within the last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted ExxonMobil its Environmental Permit. ExxonMobil’s Senior Director of Public and Government Affairs, Kimberly Brassington confirmed this yesterday. Brassington said that the Environmental Permit is for the Liza phase 1 development project.She said, “Before a development project goes forward there are two key projects that Exxon, as an operator, looks for—the first is to have the Environmental Permit and then Production Licence.” Brassington continued, “It is significant that we have the Environmental Permit to go forward with the project and now we are waiting on the Production License which will come on the government.” Brassington said that the final investment decision will follow the receipt of the production licence. Back in May 2015, ExxonMobil made its first announcement of a huge oil find in the Liza-1 well and encountered more than 295 feet (90 metres) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone. A second well was drilled – Liza-2 – and the company confirmed the finding as “significant,” with a potential recoverable resource of 800 million to 1.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Drilling operations on ExxonMobil’s Skipjack prospect, the company’s third well in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, yielded disappointing results. It was reported that the company did not find commercial quantities of hydrocarbons within that well.The Liza-3 appraisal well was subsequently drilled to a total depth of 18,100 feet in 6,000 feet of water on a location about 2.7 miles from the Liza-1 discovery.The well hit around 200 feet of net pay “in the same high-quality reservoirs” as the first two Liza wells, according to ExxonMobil partner Hess, which further solidified the potential recoverable oil in the reservoir.
EIGHTH WELLMeanwhile, the company through its affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), is gearing up to drill its eighth well in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. In an advertisement published in last Monday’s edition of the Kaieteur News, the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) stated that the EEPGL will commence the drilling programme at the Payara-2 well next Tuesday, June 20.This programme is scheduled to last for a three-month period.The drill site is approximately 108 nautical miles from the coast of Guyana and covers an area of one square kilometre.A previous well was drilled at Payara – Payara-1 – and is ExxonMobil’s second oil discovery on the Stabroek Block. It encountered more than 95 feet of high quality, oil bearing sandstone reservoirs. The well data will be analyzed to better understand the full potential of the well. The Snoek-1 well discovery was announced in March 2017. Snoek is ExxonMobil’s third oil discovery on the Stabroek Block and was drilled in a new reservoir. It encountered more than 82 feet of high quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. The well data is being analyzed to better understand the full potential of the wellKaieteur News contacted ExxonMobil’s Head Office in Georgetown yesterday, and was told that the drill ship, Stena Carron is currently wrapping up an exercise at the Liza-4 well and will soon move over to the Payara area. The drilling operation at the Payara-2 well, will utilise the following vessels: Stena Carron, M/V Cat Island, M/V Fast Titan, M/V Hannah Chouest and the HOS Commander.All mariners are required to stay clear of these vessels and navigate with caution when in this vicinity.
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