Other players in Guyana are gearing up for exploration activity. The news out of Guyana is normally dominated by the successful campaign by ExxonMobil and partner, Hess. While they have certainly been the drivers of the prolific discoveries in Guyana, other majors are also putting things in place to hopefully replicate the success of Exxon. 

UK-based Tullow, according to Upstream, has contracted a drillship to spud the Jethro-Lobe prospect with block partner, Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas. The well is set to be spud in June. The vessel is the Stena Forth. The ship is currently located off the West Africa Coast near Ghana. It will mobilise to Guyana at the end of May. 

Exxon has been using the Stena Caron and has had significant success over the past three years, and has had to hire additional vessels for drilling in that block. 

The Stena Forth drillship will drill the 250 million-barrel Jethro-Lobe prospect on the Orinduik Block offshore Guyana, near the block containing a dozen of oil discoveries made by ExxonMobil in the past three years. Tullow indicated that the Jethro- Lobe field may share some common geology to Exxon’s Hammerhead field in the Stabroek block. The feature appears to extend to below the Jethro- Lobe field. 

According to the Stena website, the Forth is a harsh-environment, dynamically positioned DP Class 3 drillship capable of drilling in water depths up to 10,000’ using 18 3⁄4” – 15,000psi Cameron TL BOP and Cameron Load King Riser. 

Eco Atlantic’s CEO, Gil Holzman, said the contract with Stena secures the rig for transport at the end of May, targeting a June 2019 spud date. He said that the agreement also defines a window for a second well on the Orinduik Block, which would be drilled after the Jethro-Lobe well has been drilled. 

Long lead items for this project, including the wellheads and casings for two wells have been secured and ordered. The Orinduik partners are currently reviewing plans for a second well and anticipate formalising those plans in the coming week, according to Eco Atlantic Consultant, Gustavson Associates, has estimated some 3.98 billion barrels in prospective resources across 15 exploration areas, which for Eco’s 15 per cent stake in Orinduik equates to 597.3 million barrels net to the AIM-quoted firm. 

Repsol drilling activity 

The Spanish major, Repsol, has contracted the Rowan EXL II to drill a wildcat in the Kanuku block in Guyana. The prospect in this block is the Carapa prospect. 

The rig is currently contracted to BP and is located in Trinidad. According to Rowan’s website, the contract concludes in early June. 

It was known that Repsol would drill on the Carapa prospect in the third quarter. Information from Tullow’s Capital Markets Day late last year shows that Carpara has both Cretaceous and Tertiary targets. 

The Kanuku block lies south of the prolific ExxonMobil-operated Stabroek block, where the U.S. supermajor has recently nudged up the discovered recoverable resource base to more than 5.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent. 

According to Repsol, their current activity in Guyana is focused on the Kanuku block 150 kilometres offshore Guyana. Repsol operates the block with a 37.5 per cent working interest. They are targeting an oil prospect in the Kanuku block where they plan to drill the first exploration well in 2019 to determine if hydrocarbons are present. The internal and external impact studies will begin in 2018. 

The Kanuku block is located in an area near existing oil and gas discoveries. However, there is a high level of uncertainty at this stage of the project. Repsol is continuing to invest in exploration activities to move toward de-risking the block. They added that Repsol has invested approximately US$60 million to date in the Kanuku block exploration programme. 

Repsol has acquired 862 square kilometres of 2D and 5,949 square kilometres of 3D seismic on the block to support the exploration programme. 

Repsol signed a contract with the government of Guyana for the Kanuku block in 2013 and is in the first renewal phase of the contract with a commitment to drill one exploration well. 

Repsol completed the acquisition of 2D seismic data in 2013 and 3D seismic data in 2013 and 2017 on the Kanuku block, and plans to drill the first exploration well in 2019. 

According to Rowan, the approximately 45-day contract covers one well, starting in the third quarter of this year. The EXL II, which can operate in up to 350 feet (107 metres) of water and boasts a maximum drilling depth of 35,000 feet (10,668 metres), is currently deployed in Trinidad for BPTT.