ExxonMobil has announced a new oil and gas discovery at the Bluefin well in the Stabroek block offshore Guyana.  

The development marks the company’s first such announcement in the country this year.  

It adds to the more than 30 discoveries since 2015 in the 26,800km² area, which already boasts more than 11 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas. 

The Bluefin well, drilled by the Stena Drillmax drillship in 1,294m of water, encountered approximately 60m of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone.  

This discovery is located around 8.5km south-east of the Sailfin-1 well in the south-eastern portion of the Stabroek block. 

Exxon, with its partners, began crude output in Guyana in 2019, and by 2027 the companies aim to produce up to 1.2 million barrels of oil and gas per day from the block.  

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ExxonMobil Guyana operates the block with a 45% interest, while Hess Guyana Exploration holds 30% and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana owns 25%. 

ExxonMobil Guyana president Alistair Routledge said: “Our exploration programme continues to improve our understanding of the block’s potential to drive viable oil-and-gas development. This latest find reinforces that we have the people, skills and technology to safely and responsibly deliver value to Guyana from the country’s resources.” 

The discovery coincides with Exxon initiating arbitration proceedings to assert its pre-emption rights in the Stabroek oilfield.  

This move could potentially affect Chevron‘s plans to acquire a stake in the Stabroek block through the $53bn purchase of Hess. 

Chevron is currently in discussions with Exxon and CNOOC regarding the right of first refusal for the Stabroek block.  

Although Chevron contends that the right does not apply due to the structure of the deal, it acknowledges that the merger’s fate hinges on the resolution of this issue.