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Could Guyana Become The Next Oil Hot Spot?

By Irina Slav - Apr 12, 2017, 2:01 PM CDT


ExxonMobil last week announced its third successful oil find offshore Guyana – the tiny Latin American country squeezed between Venezuela and Suriname. The Snoek discovery follows hitting oil-bearing rock in the Liza-1 well and the Payara-1 well, where Exxon struck oil at the beginning of this year.

The three finds together have led analysts to estimate the total reserves held in Exxon’s Starbroek block at between 1.4 and 2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, which Exxon is developing in partnership with Hess and China’s Nexen.

First commercial oil will probably start flowing in 2020, from a floating production storage and offloading vessel, to be later joined by a second one and later by a third one, if all goes well. According to Wood Mackenzie, by the mid-2020s daily output from the Starbroek block could reach 450,000 barrels—a pretty respectable figure that is bound to attract the attention of other oil players.

Exxon is not the only one in Guyana: Tullow Oil and Eco Atlantic are exploring the potential of a neighboring block, Orinduik, which was initially estimated to hold some 700 million barrels of oil equivalent when exploration started last year but the companies later revised reserves to as much as 900 million barrels.

Eco Atlantic’s chief executive said that the company has been approached several times by companies offering to buy its stake in the Orinduik block. Noting they were “big names”, Gil Holzman added that Eco had declined the offers. Instead, the company plans to push the launch of drilling at Orinduik forward to 2018, three years ahead of schedule, in case international oil prices stay where they are now.

Now, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the oil and gas reserves in the Guyana-Suriname Basin at 2.79 billion barrels of crude, at 95 percent certainty. This means Exxon and Eco Atlantic/Tullow have it pretty much covered. At 50 percent certainty, reserves in the basin could be 13.937 billion barrels of oil, expanding the playing field considerably. Gas reserves are seen at between 7.035 trillion cu ft (95 percent chance) and 36.802 trillion cu ft (50 percent certainty).

Exxon’s chief of exploration, Steve Greenlee says the basin’s geology is “technically complex”, which normally translates into “expensive”, but the company’s CEO Darren Woods said at an investor presentation that the first phase of development of the Starbroek block, with daily output planned at 100,000-120,000 bpd will have a breakeven cost of $40 a barrel.

That’s comfortably lower than current oil prices and could fall further as Exxon and the other explorers in Guyana get themselves familiarized with the local geology. Exxon is now planning a fourth well, in another sector of the Starbroek block as well as the launch of exploration at another block, Kaieteur, for which it won a license this February.

The very fact that a company the size of Exxon is focusing so much on tiny Guyana should be telling enough. Just one of four wells drilled so far in its acreage has turned out dry, which could be seen as pretty good odds there is indeed quite a lot of oil in Guyana’s sector of the continental shelf.

It seems the industry is already taking note: Eco Atlantic’s CEO told NewsBase that Guyana recently held an oil and gas conference that saw more than 300 industry executives attend. It might be time for energy companies to try and get a piece of the Guyana pie before prices fly up, which is bound to happen – look at the Permian.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com


Eco Atlantic Media: Guyana buzz grows as ExxonMobil notches third find

Global Energy Research Daily Newsletter Apr 10 Guyana buzz grows as ExxonMobil notches third find From Latin American Oil & Gas (LatAmOil) Monitor

Investors are circling after ExxonMobil’s Snoek well became the third successful discovery in the Stabroek block, writes Tom Rees

WHAT: The discoveries could see Guyana producing over 400,000 bpd in the next decade.

WHY: At least two FPSOs are being mobilised for the Stabroek block.

WHAT NEXT: Eco Atlantic and Tullow are shooting 3D seismic in nearby blocks, as the pace of exploration also picks up in neighbouring Suriname.

ExxonMobil made another oil discovery offshore Guyana last week. The US super-major said it had found 25 metres of “high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs” at its Snoek well, the third discovery in the Stabroek block. 

The Snoek discovery follows the firm’s successes at the Payara and Liza fields in the block, the latter of which is estimated to contain up to 1.4 billion barrels of light oil.

The focus offshore Guyana will now turn to surrounding exploration blocks, such as Orinduik and Kanuku, two neighbouring licences that will undergo 3D seismic surveying this quarter.

Eco Atlantic’s CEO Gil Holzman, whose company has a 40% stake in the Orinduik block, told NewsBase Intelligence (NBI) that ExxonMobil’s recent discoveries had turned Guyana into “one of the hottest exploration areas in the world right now”.

Though ExxonMobil’s head of exploration, Steve Greenlee, has described the Guyanese offshore as a “technically complex play”, Holzman believes more discoveries will be made as companies’ understanding of the area’s geology improves.

“The hit rate is getting better and better, because they understand the basin geology much better. With every well that is being drilled and hit, it’s much easier to calibrate and understand how the geology of the entire Guyana-Suriname Basin works,” said Holzman. Thus far, only one well at Stabroek, SkipJack, has turned up dry.

Eco Atlantic along with its partner Tullow Oil, which operates Orinduik, aims to have completed a 3D seismic survey by the end of the second quarter. Potential drilling targets have already been identified based on a 2D seismic survey, which should make the interpretation process quicker than usual.

“Assuming all goes to plan, we are hoping to have identified our drilling targets by the end of the year and, if oil prices stay the same and the overall market stays the same, we can even be in the position to be drilling in 2018 which is three years ahead of schedule. But of course all these decisions need to be taken with our block partners and the operator Tullow,” said Holzman on the joint-venture’s accelerated plan to unlock the estimated 900 million barrels in the block.

Rising interest

Holzman said there was a buzz developing around the country’s emerging oil industry and that the majors were beginning to circle around its offshore assets.

“I just came back from Guyana two days ago and we co-sponsored a big oil and gas conference there that was organised by the Guyana Oil and Gas Association. You could see by the turnout, you could see by the various stakeholders that had arrived, by the foreign governments and service providers there that the area is quite hot.”

“If you had tried to have this conference two years ago in Guyana, the turnout would probably have been 40 people and most of them locals. But we had 350 people coming, paying a lot of money for the conference and the atmosphere was very vivid,” said Holzman, whose company secured the Orinduik licence, which lies just 6.5 km south of the Liza discovery, in January 2016.

Holzman added that several big names had approached Eco Atlantic regarding its stake in Orinduik but the company was “not in any hurry” to sell part of the block with the 3D seismic programme already fully funded. The company raised the capital required for the upcoming programme by floating on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in February, raising GBP5.1 million (US$6.4 million).

Although Eco Atlantic owns 23,000 square km in the Walvis Basin off the coast of Namibia, the Orinduik licence has “naturally” stolen the limelight and the company’s focus has now turned to the Guyana-Suriname Basin. The US Geological Survey (USGS) says the basin is the second-most prospective, underexplored offshore basin in the world, estimating crude reserves at 13.6 billion barrels and gas deposits of 32 tcf (906 bcm).

First oil

ExxonMobil announced last month that it anticipates first oil from the Liza field in 2020, by which time it will have invested US$5 billion in the project.

ExxonMobil’s CEO Darren Woods said in a recent investor presentation that the field’s output would reach 100,000-120,000 bpd during Phase 1 with a breakeven cost of US$40 per barrel. 

It is anticipated that two FPSOs will be used to develop Liza and Payara, with the Snoek find probably meaning another vessel will also be required. The discoveries that have been made to date, along with future finds, could see Guyana’s oil production peak at around 450,000 bpd in the next decade, according to estimates by Wood Mackenzie, a consultancy. 

Although ExxonMobil has held the Stabroek exploration licence since 1999, it only discovered Liza two years ago. ExxonMobil owns a 45% stake in the block with Hess and Chinese state-run CNOOC’s subsidiary Nexen holding stakes of 30% and 25%, respectively.

Holzman said that ExxonMobil had “completely opened up a new play” and that big companies would now flood the sector in Guyana “because the risk is decreasing”.

He added: “ExxonMobil is a big company, they know what they’re doing, they’ll make sure the infrastructure is in place.”

Although Guyana currently lacks the infrastructure to refine the oil that is produced, nearby Trinidad and Tobago could be leveraged as a processing hub, with reports emerging last week that the country’s Prime Minister Keith Rowley had flown out to Texas to meet with senior ExxonMobil officials.

Guyana, which has never produced oil before, is taking “very big steps to make sure [it] can accommodate these big oil companies”, according to Holzman.

“They are very savvy, they are taking their steps very carefully. They have learnt from other people’s mistakes. They consult with everyone to make sure everything is in place by the time it should be,” said Holzman, who has 12 years of experience working in the sector in Africa. “They are all very focused on taking this once in a lifetime opportunity for the nation.”

That said, Guyana set its fiscal terms at a level that would draw in investment in exploration in what was a high risk frontier area. The success of ExxonMobil and its partners in proving prospectivity could see the fiscal terms tighten.

In the meantime the focus in exploration terms will be on Eco Atlantic and Tullow as they execute their 3D seismic survey. Attention will also shift to Suriname where Apache is drilling the Kolibri-1 well in Block 53 and where Tullow has also outlined plans to drill in Block 54 this year. 

Their work will go some way to proving whether the play stretches out across the Guyana-Suriname Basin or if the commercial quantities of oil are only located around the Stabroek block.

Canacol wants to double Colombian gas production by 2019 Colombia -focused company Canacol Energy has said that wants to double its gas production in the country by the end of 2018.

Shell to begin drilling Bolivia’s Huacareta block in 2018 Royal Dutch Shell has completed its seismic programme at the Huacareta gas block in Bolivia and intends to begin an exploratory drilling programme there in April 2018.



March 30, 2017, 9:00 am EDT

ExxonMobil Announces New Oil Discovery Offshore Guyana
IRVING, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) announced today positive results on the Snoek well offshore Guyana, confirming a new discovery on the Stabroek Block. Drilling targeted similar aged reservoirs as encountered in previous discoveries at Liza and Payara.

Read Full Release


IG Interview with Eco Atlantic,  Gil Holzman
February 9, 2017



Eco Oil looks to pump up LSE junior market
City AM
Francesca Washtell 
9 January 2017, 
124 words, 
Copyright 2017. CITY AM.

CANADIAN oil group Eco (Atlantic) Oil and Gas will be one of the first firms to pump up the London Stock Exchange's junior market in 2017 when it floats later this month.

The Toronto Stock Exchange-listed firm, which holds Atlantic licences offshore Guyana and Namibia, will early this week announce its intention to float on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) in late January. It aims to raise around £2m-£3m before expenses.

Offshore Guyana, it holds licences with Tullow Oil adjacent to ExxonMobil discoveries that have been declared commercial with up to 1.4bn barrels of oil equivalent (boe), while offshore Namibia its licences are also near major farm-in activity.
City AM Ltd


DT Logo

Eco ( Atlantic ) looks to raise up to £3m on Aim
The Daily Telegraph
9 January 2017, 
59 words, 
The Daily Telegraph © 2017. Telegraph Media Group Ltd. 

Eco (Atlantic) Oil and Gas Ltd has announced its intention to float on London's junior market. The Toronto listed oil and gas exploration company, which operates in Guyana and Namibia, hopes to raise about £2m to £3m and will begin trading on Aim later this month.
Telegraph Media Group Ltd.
Document DT00000020170109ed190000o



City and Business news: Apple, Co Yo, Eco Atlantic
8 January 2017 00:01, 
558 words, 
Copyright 2017          

….Oil and gas exploration group Eco Atlantic is to float on the London Stock Exchange’s junior Alternative Investment Market later this month.

The firm, which is currently listed on the Toronto exchange, is looking to raise up to £3million to fund the development of its exploration blocks in Guyana and Namibia.

It will also use the proceeds to help it identify and apply for additional licences in Guyana and western Africa.

Eco Atlantic will be floated on the Alternative Investment Market next week

Eco holds a 40 per cent stake in an offshore block in the shallow water of the Guyana-Suriname basin in South America.
Tullow Oil has the remaining 60 per cent. It also has four offshore petroleum licences from the Namibian government.
Both areas have seen “significant oil discoveries” in recent years and Eco chief executive Gil Holzman said that the firm will be the only AIM oil and gas exploration company to have assets in Guyana.

Related articles Jamie Oliver BLAMES BREXIT for the closure of six Italian restaurants Mountain Warehouse aims to expand abroad after record Christmas sales FTSE 100 seven-day winning streak starts 2017 on a high
News UK & Ireland Limited

Document EXCO000020170108ed180003m

January 9, 2017: New year, new IPO: Canadian firm Eco (Atlantic) Oil and Gas looks to pump up London's junior market with January listing



July 7, 2016: Offshore - Guyana emerges as major frontier market
June 30, 2016: ExxonMobil News - ExxonMobil Says Second Well Offshore Guyana Confirms Significant Oil Discovery
June 30, 2016: Proactive Investors - Eco Atlantic boosted by Exxon's world-class Guyana oil discovery
May 05, 2016: Rigzone - OTC 2016: Guyana's Investment Appeal Gets a Boost from Liza Oil Discovery
April 14, 2016: Financial Post - Exxon Mobil success in Guyana Basin puts spotlight on Canadian junior
January 21, 2016: Proactive Investors - Eco Atlantic boss delighted to partner Tullow on “prize asset”
January 19, 2016: Upstreamonline.com - Double act to drill Orinduik
January 19, 2016: Guyana Geology and Mines Commission - Gov’t grants petroleum prospecting license to Tullow, Eco Guyana



Proactive Investors - Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas keeps on executing, with many catalysts on the horizon
Africa Energy Intelligence - Halcyon days for Eco Atlantic
Oil Barrel - Canada’s Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas making strong headway in Namibia
Oil Review Africa - Tullow Oil to gain 40 percent interest in Namibia
Proactive Investors - Eco Atlantic inks farm-out deal with Tullow Oil
Small Cap Network - Namibia has recently seen a surge in farm-in deals, possibly signaling a positive oil outlook
Financial Times  - Namibia: Africa's Next Big Oil Frontier?
Offshore Energy Today - 3D seismic survey underway of Namibia
The Namibian - First oil exploration company lists on NSX
New Era - Eco Oil lists on NSX
Namibian Sun - Canadian oil explorer lists on NSX
The Confidente - Eco Oil Gas on Toronto Stock Exchange
The Informante - Eco Atlantic Lists on NSX

November 2011- Inaugural Office Opening Celebration

The Confidente- Eco Oil and Gas Opens Local Namibian Office
The Windhoek Observer- Eco Oil and Gas Joins Local Energy Sector
The Republikein- Eco Oil and Gas May Operate Soon

Other Media

November 11, 2014: Bloomberg - Namibia Expects Explorers to Drill Up to 5 Oil Wells in 2016
June 13, 2014: Oil and Gas Financial Journal - Tower Resources and partner Repsol drill dry hole offshore Namibia
March 6, 2014: Reuters - Murphy Oil and OMV to drill in Namibia -government
February 17, 2014: Reuters - Shell to drill for oil in Namibian waters
March 5, 2014: Offshore Energy Today - Rowan Renaissance drillship arrives in Namibia
May 3, 2013: Bloomberg News - Namibia Well May Revive Skeleton Coast Drilling After Failures 
December 2012: Africa's 21st Century Scramble - Eco Atlantic Featured
April 13, 2012: Upstream Online - Eco Atlantic sets sights on cash for Namibia drilling
April 5, 2012: Bloomberg News - BP Pursues Namibia Crude Amid No Known Discovery of Oil: Energy
January 30, 2012: Bloomberg News - Africa Seen Mirroring Brazil in Atlantic Coast Drilling: Energy
July 6, 2011: Namibia Sees 11 Billion Barrels In Offshore Oil Reserves

Tuesday June 25 – Oil Council Africa Assembly, Paris

Gil Holzman, President & CEO of Eco Atlantic Interviewed by the Oil Council

November 27, 2012 - Oil Council World Assembly

Gil Holzman, President & CEO of Eco Atlantic, interviewed by Proactive Investor UK

April 18, 2012 - Eco Atlantic NSX Listing, Namibia

Gil Holzman, President & CEO Eco Atlantic, featured on CNBC Africa’s Power Lunch
Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas lists on Namibian Stock Exchange