The Noble Bob Douglas drillship, owned by offshore driller Noble Corp, has been hired to work for Exxon in Guyana. The contract is with ExxonMobil in Guyana and is for a three-year period. The estimated contract start date is Q1/Q2 2018 with the estimated contract end date being Q1/Q2 2021. Exxon is currently using the Stena Carron which has conducted the drilling work for Liza and Payara.

According to Noble’s fleet status report, the drillship ended its contract with Murphy Oil in July in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Before moving into Guyana to take up the Exxon contract, the drill ship has a brief contract with Tullow in Suriname beginning early October. Tullow of course is hoping to replicate Exxon’s success in the relatively nearby Liza and Payara wells.

Tullow has kept Suriname as part of its new ventures portfolio. Plans are ongoing to drill the high-impact Araku prospect (Tullow: 30%), offshore Suriname, in Q4 of 2017. The deepwater block will be drilled in Block 54, which Tullow has operated since 2013. Partners on the block are Statoil and Noble Energy. The block is 8,854km2, in waters 1,000m deep and is 200km offshore Suriname. 

Tullow has indicated that this prospect is a large structural trap which has a resource potential estimated at over 500 mmbo.  Tullow has contracted the Noble Bob Douglas drillship to drill the well between October and November 2017, at an undisclosed day-rate. 

According to Offshore Energy Today Noble did not say what exactly Exxon will be using the drillship for, but did suggest that it is possible that unit will be used for development drilling on the Liza project.

Previously, Exxon has said that production from the Liza could start by 2020, and that four drill centers were envisioned for the development with a total of 17 wells, including eight production wells, six water injection wells and three gas injection wells.