As a result of pandemic-related travel restrictions in Guyana, Hess Corporation had announced that its partner as well as Operator of the Stabroek Block, ExxonMobil, temporarily idled two drillships, the Stena Carron and the Noble Tom Madden.
But Hess’ Chief Operating Officer (COO), Greg Hill disclosed that these vessels are expected to resume work by June. In the meantime, Hill said development activities are continuing with the Noble Don Taylor and Noble Bob Douglas drillships. Further to this, it was noted that the Stabroek Block partners have taken the decision to defer the addition of a fifth drillship offshore Guyana.
The Guyana Standard understands that reduced drilling activities due to COVID-19 travel restrictions have resulted in a reduction in Hess’ 2020 Guyana capital and exploratory budget by approximately US$200 million. On that note, the COO was keen to note that execution and delivery across the company’s asset base are under very challenging conditions but assured nonetheless that all actions are being taken to ensure it is well-positioned to recover from the historic downturn. In terms of preserving Hess’ long-term value of assets, the official said that the company’s top priority is Guyana, which is one of the industry’s most attractive investments.
On the Stabroek Block, where Hess has a 30% interest and ExxonMobil is the operator, Hill reminded that 6 discoveries have been made since 2015. The current estimate of gross discovered recoverable resources for the block stands at more than eight billion barrels of oil equivalent, with multibillion barrels of exploration potential remaining. The Liza Phase one development achieved first production in December and is expected to reach its full capacity of 120,000 gross barrels of oil per day in June.
As for the Liza Phase two development, this remains on track for a 2022 start-up, with a production capacity of 220,000 gross barrels of oil per day. Hess, as well as ExxonMobil officials, have since disclosed that the development of the Payara field with a production capacity of 220,000 gross barrels of oil per day has been deferred six to 12 months pending government approval to proceed.