Guyana’s Energy Ministry has announced a “significant” oil and gas discovery in the Stabroek offshore exploration block, reported Reuters.

The Lancetfish-2 appraisal well drilled by an ExxonMobil-led group led to the discovery, the fourth in the South American nation this year.

Since 2015, 46 oil and gas discoveries have been made in Guyana, with more than 11 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas.

The majority of discoveries have been made at Exxon’s Stabroek block, where oil production began in 2019.

By 2027, up to 1.2 million barrels of oil and gas per day are expected to be produced from the 26,000km² block.

According to the ministry, the Lancetfish-2 well contains an estimated 20m of hydrocarbon-bearing reservoir in addition to about 81m of additional hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone.

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By GlobalData

The latest discovery is located in the Liza production licence area of the Exxon-led consortium.

Exxon refused to comment on the news.

The ministry also stated that an appraisal procedure is anticipated for the reservoir. Details about the amount of recoverable barrels was not provided.

Separately, the first competitive auction in Guyana saw bids for individual shallow-water oil and gas exploration blocks from oil production consortia headed by TotalEnergies and Exxon.

A group comprising TotalEnergies, Qatar Energy and Malaysia-based Petronas submitted a bid for the 1,788km² S4 block and the Exxon-led group has bid for the 1,707km² S8 block.

Last week, reports emerged that Exxon plans to make a final investment decision for the Whiptail oil project offshore Guyana by the first quarter of 2024.

Exxon and its partners on the project, Hess and China National Offshore Oil Corporation, plan to invest nearly $13bn in the Whiptail project.