Exxon Mobil: Previously disclosed oil discovery in disputed area off Guyana is ‘significant’

Exxon Mobil: Previously disclosed oil discovery in disputed area off Guyana is ‘significant’

Associated Press –  MAY 20, 2015 — 3:55PM

The Deep Water Champion Oil Exploration Rig

The Deep Water Champion Oil Exploration Rig

GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Exxon Mobil Corp. confirmed Wednesday that it has made what it calls a “significant” oil discovery off Guyana in waters also claimed by Venezuela as part of a long-running border dispute between the South American countries.

The company and Guyana’s government had said May 7 that the exploration was showing promise but provided no details. Exxon Mobil now says it is still working to determine the commercial viability of the find at a site within the 6.6 million-acre area known as the Stabroek Block but has reasons to be optimistic.

“I am encouraged by the results of the first well on the Stabroek Block,” said Stephen M. Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Co.

The company says it encountered more than 295 feet (90 meters) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs in the drilling site about 120 miles (193 kilometers) off Guyana. It said the well was safely drilled to 17,825 feet (5,433 meters) in 5,719 feet (1,743 meters) of water.

This would be the first significant oil discovery following decades of exploration within the territory of Guyana, a largely undeveloped country of about 800,000 people.

Venezuela has long claimed about two-thirds of Guyana’s territory as well as the offshore area where Exxon Mobil began drilling in March.

In October 2013, the Venezuelan navy detained an oil research vessel operating under contract for U.S.-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. Guyana Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett said in March that her country would push ahead with exploration in the area despite protests by Venezuela.

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  • Yvonne  On 05/21/2015 at 7:46 am

    No wonder the PPP was contesting the results of the election. Just think of how much fatter their bank accounts could get if they had still have control of Guyana. It will be very interesting to see the developments of such a find with Venezuela in the mix.

  • Gigi  On 05/22/2015 at 8:07 am

    Oil is way too cheap for Guyana to be taking this risk to its environment that will ultimately devastate its other resources WHEN this undertaking takes off. There are way too many documented cases in history of the long, painful and ongoing aftermaths of oil disasters all over the world. Right now the country of Ecuador, I think, is suing Shell for the devastation its oil drilling activities have wrecked on its country and affecting its entire economy. In Alaska and New Orleans, oil spills have left massive toxic dead zones. And, just yesterday, California declared a state of emergency following a recent oil spill of its coast. Guyana is too dependent on its other natural resources – farming, fishing, rainforest – to take on this RISK! I hope the European countries that are involved in conserving Guyana’s rainforest say no to this. If not, I hope the Venezuelan govt takes action by reclaiming this disputed territory, hopefully the dispute will be a very long and drawn out one.

    • Helen  On 05/22/2015 at 7:16 pm

      Not you again with your tirades. I cannot believe that you would want to see Venezuela “reclaim” this disputed territory. And just what do you think Venezuela will do when they’ve “reclaimed” it you idiot. Do you think they’ll be thinking of Guyana’s environment. Oil might be at lower prices now but it won’t stay that way forever. I think you must have recently been introduced to knowledge that you feel the need to expound your ignorance. Sorry that your government of choice lost the election but that’s no reason to want to sell out our beautiful country to Venezuela.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 05/22/2015 at 10:57 am

    The delusional Venezuelan government is acting on some trumped-up charges by a meddling USA government who made it clear that they would not tolerate another Cuba in this hemisphere – this nonsense about an American lawyer instructing the Venezuelans to open an envelope after his death, is just that: NONSENSE. The matter is resolved. The territory belongs to Guyana.

    I noticed the Venezuelan Navy interfered with the exploration in the Roraima Block; and sent a letter of protest regarding the current exploration in the Stabroek Block – no naval intrusion? Perhaps, “delusional” is not the word I have in mind.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 05/22/2015 at 12:16 pm

    This is an after-thought – delayed intelligence: If the Venezuelans could wake Salvador Allende from his deep sleep to seek his advice, he probably would say go ahead and send your naval vessel out to interfere with the Exxon exploration; then you could have your diplomats explain that it is a submarine – that’s why it is down there! – “Delusional” is not the word I have in mind.

  • Gigi  On 05/22/2015 at 1:13 pm

    Notice all the oil spills and explosions happening in the US, a country with environmental oversight AND environmentalists. Imagine what will happen in poor, poor Guyana.

    This occurred a few weeks ago and is separate from what occurred just two days ago. Poor California, two catastrophes in less than a month on top of a severe drought…

    “With the exception of a few mentions in the mainstream press when the incident originally occurred, Exxon is getting away with murder concerning their most recent snafu. I’m talking about the huge explosion at a gasoline refinery in Torrance, California that rained toxic ash on playgrounds and homes.”


  • Clyde Duncan  On 05/22/2015 at 4:47 pm

    Gigi: Stop reading the nonsense at Global Research and turn off FOX News.
    That stuff is for whackos and fringe elements with cauliflower for brains.

    • Thinker  On 05/24/2015 at 7:06 am

      Before people get too excited, they should understand that much of the energy needs of the mere 750,000 inhabitants can be solved by solar energy and other renewable energy sources. Unless the find is massively much more than “significant”, we all need to keep calm. One cannot blame Gigi for bring certain problems to our attention, despite the race bias which determines all her thinking. http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21582516-worlds-thirst-oil-could-be-nearing-peak-bad-news-producers-excellent

      • Helen  On 05/24/2015 at 11:42 am

        GiGi is not telling us anything that we don’t already know. However, the people of Guyana has gone through YEARS of hardship and the country itself is lacking in so many areas….infrastructure, health care, education, social services, employment opportunities, that an oil find, regardless of any environmental concerns, will be a big plus for Guyana’s economy. What’s the point of a pristine environment if people are suffering. If this oil exploration is done properly and closely monitored by environmentalists and the Guyana government, it could be a good thing for the country and our people. This is not something that will happen overnight as it takes a few years of preparatory work before the drilling can get going. Let’s pray for a good outcome and not start handing our country over to Venezuela.

  • Chris Prashad  On 05/25/2015 at 1:21 pm

    The GREAT WHITE SHARKS have finally invaded Guyana’s waters. These white sharks are not here to help the Guyanese People; they are here to exploit our natural resources while at the same time pollute our shoreline and coastal waters. They have not made a new discovery that we did not already know about since the Venezuelan authorities invented a false claim on our territory. (Thou shalt not COVET)

    Remember what they did to our other natural resources, Bauxite, Manganese, Gold, Diamond, Forest products etc. How much did Guyana benefit from their presence here?
    Have we forgotten our history? What did they do to our dollar and the exchange rate?

    Mr. President, before you ever sign any agreement with these expatriate crooks at Exxon Mobile please take the time to delve into the history of oil companies. Make sure that such agreement receives public scrutiny.

    In the USA they rake in Billions of dollars in profits while at the same time use loopholes to garnish billions more in Government subsidies, taxpayers money, besides manipulating prices at the pump to maximize their profits.

    To add insult to the intelligence of the populace they damage and destroy the roads and other infracture with their heavy vehicles and expect the taxpayers (through additional fuel taxes) to foot the bill for the repairs while their profits skyrocket to the highest degree.

    Besides, they do not care about the environment. Exploding trains, fuel tankers, broken pipelines, leaking rigs and fuel tankers; and environmental pollution mean nothing to them. Poisoning waterways with their toxic waste, polluting the air with toxic wastes from the chimneys of their refineries, are of little concern to them (all oil companies) Destroying fertile agricultural lands with synthetic fertilizers (by-products of the oil industry) inclusive. All that they are concerned about is the huge profits they can generate.

    If someone comes up with an invention that can generate much cheaper electricity without the use of fossil fuel, or if someone invents an engine that can run on water instead: their inventions are not allowed to see the light. Besides, they are murdered or their inventions are destroyed. There are tons of evidence on these matters now available, thanks to the age of modern technology.

    IS THIS WHAT WE WANT FOR OUR COUNTRY AND OUR PEOPLE? Are we so dumb as to forget what our forefathers went through in the hands of these expatriates before we gained our independence and kicked them out? Are we going to allow history to repeat itself?

    Mr. President, you are the new MOSES of our people. You and your cabinet are tasked with the responsibility of uniting our people, to break the yoke of Babylon hanging around our necks, find a way to extricate our people from the claws of the IMF, the World Bank and all those institutions that sink their teeth into our Nation’s Natural resources and our peoples life blood.

    Next, beware of the Satanic New World Order and the invasion of foreign forces that will institute marshal law and enslave our people. (This will be worldwide) Is anybody taking note of these things?

    Let self-reliance, self-sufficiency, and living in harmony with nature in service and worship of our Creator, Yahuwah, be our constant guide and goal. Release us from the clutches of the US Dollar which will crash very soon, when we least expect it, taking the world economy with it. Hyper-inflation is on the way. Are you people listening to the voice in the wilderness?

    Will somebody, please get to the roof-top and shout out this warning to our people and our leaders before it is too late, please!!!!!!! There is much more on the horizon.

  • Louise  On 05/25/2015 at 5:36 pm

    Too bad that more people were not as concerned about what the previous government was doing to Guyana for the past 22 years as they appear to be with just the mention of a possibility of a substantial oil find now.

  • Thinker  On 05/26/2015 at 5:11 am

    Comparing apples with oranges is not a basis for discussion. The cronyism and mismanagement of the PPP are well documented. News is not “dog bites man” but more like “man bites dog”. Discussion of the future of oil in the Guyana context is worth pursuing..

    • Louise  On 05/26/2015 at 3:33 pm

      The cronyism and mismanagement of the PPP might be well documented but it should have been stopped in its tracks by the Guyanese people by voting them out of office years. Where was the concern then….that’s my argument….and why the concern now all of a sudden by the same people who were basking in their riches doled out to them by the PPP? It’s not apples and oranges at all. It’s being concerned about your country whether it be the type of government you encouraged or the potential harm to its environment. I do agree that much more discussion is needed but there’s absolutely NO DIFFERENCE when it comes to doing what’s best for Guyana and its people.

  • walter  On 05/26/2015 at 8:20 pm

    I think we should sit back, see what happens. Guyanese are no longer naïve as people might think. Lots of knowledge floating around. I am expecting great things, law of averages is on Guyana’s(our) side.

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