ExxonMobil fails to find commercial oil at first well in Canje Block

5 March 2021 (Last Updated March 5th, 2021 11:56)

ExxonMobil and its partners have failed to find commercially viable quantities of oil at the Bulletwood-1 offshore well in the Canje Block, offshore Guyana.

ExxonMobil fails to find commercial oil at first well in Canje Block
The Stena Drilling-owned Stena Carron drillship at sea. Credit: Stena Drilling US Inc.

ExxonMobil and its partners have failed to find commercially viable quantities of oil at the Bulletwood-1 offshore well in the Canje Block, offshore Guyana.

The well lies 180km offshore Guyana and was drilled using the Stena Carron drillship in 2,846m of water to its planned target depth of 6,690m.

ExxonMobil said in its latest investor presentation that the drilling confirmed its seismic interpretation of the geology and shown evidence of non-commercial hydrocarbons.

The company said in a statement: “Geologic risk is inherent to frontier oil and gas exploration activities. Every well in frontier oil and gas exploration provides invaluable data to inform future activities.”

ExxonMobil operates the Canje Block through its subsidiary Esso Exploration & Production Guyana with a 35% stake. Other partners in the block include Total (35%), JHI (17.5%) and Mid-Atlantic Oil & Gas (12.5%).

However, exploration company JHI conveyed to its shareholder Westmount Energy that the well had ‘encountered quality reservoirs but non-commercial hydrocarbons’.

Westmount Energy holds a 7.2% interest in JHI Associates.

Westmount noted that the Bulletwood-1 well data confirms the presence of the Guyana-Suriname Basin petroleum system, as well as the potential prospectivity of the Canje Block.

The Bulletwood-1 is the first of three wells planned to be drilled by the partners in 2021. Drilling of the other independent prospects Jabillo-1 and Sapote-1 are scheduled over the coming months.

Last month, ExxonMobil agreed to divest its non-operated upstream assets in the UK central and northern North Sea for more than $1bn to NEO Energy.

ExxonMobil will sell its ownership stakes in 14 producing fields, including Penguins, Starling, Fram, the Gannet Cluster, Shearwater and Elgin Franklin fields, in addition to interests in the associated infrastructure.

The sale forms part of ExxonMobil’s strategy to further focus on a portfolio of advantaged assets.