US-based ExxonMobil has made a second oil discovery from its Payara-1 well in offshore Guyana.

Payara is the company’s second oil discovery on the Stabroek Block, which was drilled in a new reservoir. This well targeted similar reservoirs that turned successful during the Liza discovery in 2015.

The new discovery is located 16km north-west from the Liza discovery.

ExxonMobil Exploration Company president Steve Greenlee said: “This important discovery further establishes the area as a significant exploration province.

“We look forward to working with the government and our co-venturers to continue evaluating broader exploration potential on the block and the greater Liza area.”

Esso Exploration and Production Guyana, an ExxonMobil affiliate drilled the Payara-1 well.

The company stated that the well was safely drilled to 18,080ft under 6,660ft of water, and encountered more than 95ft of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs.

"The company expects that this discovery hosts nearly 100 million to 150 million oil equivalent barrels."

ExxonMobil also conducted appraisal drilling at Liza-3 that identified a deeper reservoir directly below the Liza field. The company expects that this discovery hosts nearly 100 million to 150 million oil equivalent barrels.

Greenlee added: “These latest exploration successes are examples of ExxonMobil’s technological capabilities in ultra-deepwater environments, which will enable effective development of the resource for the benefit of the people of Guyana and our shareholders.”

ExxonMobil commenced drilling at Payara on 12 November last year. It reached the initial depth on 2 December.

In addition, the company has drilled two sidetracks to facilitate evaluation of this discovery. A well test is also underway for detailed analysis of the results. Analysed well data will help determine the complete potentiality of this Payara.

Esso Exploration and Production Guyana is the operator with 45% interest in the Stabroek Block that comprises an area of 6.6 million acres.

Hess Guyana Exploration owns 30% interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana holds 25% interest in the block.