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Exxon’s Deepest Guyana Oil Well Disappoints

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After a series of major oil discoveries offshore Guyana, ExxonMobil and partners found that the deepest well drilled so far offshore the Latin American country did not have commercial potential for a stand-alone development

The Tanager-1 well has been reported as an oil discovery, which is currently considered to be non-commercial as a stand-alone development, a minority partner on the Kaieteur Block, Westmount Energy, said in a filing to the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday.   

Westmount Energy holds 5.4 percent of Cataleya Energy, the parent firm of Cataleya Energy Limited, which has 25 percent in the Kaieteur Block operated by an ExxonMobil subsidiary.

“The outcome of the Tanager-1 exploration well has proved to be a mixed bag – confirming the extension of the Liza play fairway onto the Kaieteur Block but apparently coming up short at the deeper stratigraphic levels,” Westmount’s Executive Chairman Gerard Walsh said.  

The non-commercial oil discovery at the deepest well drilled so far off Guyana is a rare miss for Exxon and its partners, who have found significant oil resources in recent years.

Exxon announced in early September its 18th oil discovery offshore Guyana, which adds to its previous estimate of more than 8 billion barrels of discovered recoverable resources in the area.  

At the end of September, Exxon said it had made the final investment decision on the Payara offshore field in Guyana, expecting Payara to yield up to 220,000 bpd of crude when commercial production begins in 2024.

This would be the third offshore development project of the supermajor in Guyana, which rose to fame thanks to a string of discoveries in the Stabroek block made by Exxon and its partner Hess Corp.

In less than five years, Exxon and its partners in the Stabroek Block made more than a dozen quality discoveries on the block, making Guyana the newest oil-producing nation last year. Guyana officially joined the ranks of oil producers at the end of December 2019, after Exxon and its partners began oil production offshore the country.  

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