Exxon Mobil Corp struck oil for a sixth time off the coast of Guyana in South America and lifted its estimate for the total find by about 28%. Exxon found a 230-foot (70-meter) column of oil-soaked rock in its Ranger-1 well several miles beneath the ocean surface, according to a statement released on Friday. Discoveries in the same area, called the Stabroek Block, hold the equivalent of 3.2bn barrels of oil, up from a previous estimate of 2.25bn to 2.75bn barrels.
“The Ranger-1 well discovery adds to previous world-class discoveries at Liza, Payara, Snoek, Liza Deep and Turbot,” Exxon said. The find will help ease Exxon’s long-running problem of replacing the crude it pumps each year. The Irving, Texas-based company’s production has dropped in four of the last five calendar years for which full data was available, according to company filings. Exxon pumped the equivalent of about 4mn bpd during the first nine months of 2017, about 1% lower than a year earlier.
Exxon operates and owns 45% of the project, while partners Hess Corp and Cnooc Ltd hold 30% and 25% stakes, respectively. The latest discovery “reaffirms the extraordinary exploration potential of the Stabroek Block,” Hess chief executive officer John Hess said in a separate statement that promised Guyana “will create significant value for our shareholders for many years to come.” With first oil from the project not expected until 2020, the New York-based explorer has been criticised by some investors for its spending and poor stock performance.
Sources and photo-credits: Bloomberg, Gulf Times