Liza estimates growing following new appraisal

4 November, 2016

ExxonMobil and partners say discovery of deeper pay zone with Liza 3 well pushes resources over 1 billion barrels

Noah Brenner Houston

4 Nov 2016 01:00 GMT Updated 3 Nov 2016 02:18 GMT

PARTNERS in the massive Liza oil discovery off Guyana may increase their estimates for the resource potential of the field after successful exploration of a new, deeper pay zone in the Liza 3 appraisal well.

The Liza 3 well hit around 200 feet of net pay “in the same high-quality reservoirs” as the first two Liza wells, according to block partner Hess.

The drillship Stena Carron drilled Liza 3 to a total depth of 18,100 feet in 6000 feet of water about 4.3 kilometres from the Liza 1 discovery.

Operator ExxonMobil deepened and sidetracked the well to test the potential of a deeper formation that had not been tested yet in either of the two previous Liza probes, ExxonMobil secretary Jeff Woodbury said.

“On the Liza 3 well, we did go ahead and deepen it — we were targeting a higher-risk deeper interval that had not previously been penetrated on the block,” Woodbury said.

“What I would share with you is that the results were positive, and it does support the presence of oil-bearing sands deeper in the section.”

Woodbury also said the supermajor had found the oil-water contact in the deeper sands, which should help the partners understand the reservoir better ahead of any full field development.

ExxonMobil now believes Liza holds more than 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent of recoverable resources, up from a previous estimate of 800 million to 1.4 billion boe. Hess officials said they believe Liza’s recoverable reserves to be in the “upper end” of the range as well.

“It has given us confidence in terms of areal extent, the reservoir quality and thus our communication that we believe we’re in excess of 1 billion barrels now,” Woodbury told investors. The Stena Carron will now move about 16 kilometres to the north-west to spud the Payara wildcat.

“It is a similar reservoir section to Liza — also a stratigraphic trap,” Woodbury said.

The partners do not plan further exploration drilling on Liza at this point, Woodbury said, and the 2017 drilling campaign will focus on exploration work.

Current plans call for Exxon-Mobil to bring Liza into development via a 100,000 barrels per day floating production, storage and offloading unit beginning in 2020.