Guyana: Energy Director says… 75% of Stabroek Block discoveries is oil; 25% gas

The proportion of oil to gas in ExxonMobil’s discoveries is finally out in the open. Roughly 6 billion of the 8 billion oil-equivalent barrels, or 75 percent, is oil.

Energy Director Dr. Mark Bynoe

This was revealed to reporters during a press conference yesterday at the Ministry of the Presidency’s Kairuni Room, by Energy Director Dr. Mark Bynoe.

Up until now, the public has only been privy to the knowledge that there are 8 billion oil-equivalent barrels. That figure includes the quantity of oil as well as gas. Dr. Bynoe said that about 2 billion of those 8 billion barrels are gas, with a conversion factor of about 5.8. That amounts roughly to 340 billion cubic metres of gas.             

These figures do not include ExxonMobil’s 16th discovery from the Uaru well.

Dr. Bynoe noted, however, that these are rough estimates, based on analyses of a single well for most of the finds.
“We all can appreciate that this is a very complex [process] and it also requires a lot more appraisal before one can be able to determine precisely how much you’re treating with,” the Energy boss said.

This is a fair statement, as subsequent appraisals of a discovery after the first well is drilled may yield more comprehensive results.

For instance, ExxonMobil recently had reason to revise its estimate of the oil and gas content in its first 15 material discoveries in the Stabroek Block, to indicate that the quantity of the reserves was found to be a whopping 2 billion oil-equivalent barrels more than the 6 billion oil-equivalent barrels previously estimated.

Map of ExxonMobil’s first 15 Stabroek Block discoveries. CLICK TO ENLARGE

There has been a fixation in public discussion on oil development, and very little about gas.

Dr. Bynoe said during yesterday’s media briefing that Government is deepening its engagement on gas–to-shore possibilities, with a projection of gas being able to land on Guyana’s shores by 2023.
The revelation that the gas content is roughly 25 percent of Guyana’s reserves is sure to raise heads. Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo recently said that it is important for regular discussions to be had in the public about Guyana’s gas, as with the oil.

“Is the quantity enough to have gas sector development, not just oil? What would be the cost of probably moving it? What are the subsidiary industries? Is there adequate gas to come and build other types of industries…the downstream industries?”

Jagdeo said those are all the conversations that a Government should have already been having with its people.
What has been put to the public in December last by Kaieteur News is that ExxonMobil informed the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that between 30 to 50 million cubic feet per day of Natural Gas (NG) can be made available for electricity generation in Guyana, from the Liza-1 field.

Then, in January, this newspaper revealed Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, saying that the excess gas from that project can meet all of Guyana’s power needs for more than 15 years.

International firms like Open Oil and Rystad have provided results of their own calculations of Guyana’s share, but they were not privy to the proportion of oil to gas in ExxonMobil’s discoveries. Open Oil, for instance, has indicated that it used a $65-per-barrel assumption to make its calculations based on 7.9 billion barrels of oil. Gas does not carry the same price as oil, nor does it carry the same development costs. Hence, Dr. Bynoe’s revelation also has implications for projections of the revenues from the production of this oil, as well as Guyana’s share.

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  • brandli62  On 02/11/2020 at 4:13 am

    It would be a huge waste of a valuable resource, if the natural gas were not to be utilized. The alternative, burning of the natural gas off shore, is simply not acceptable and should not be tolerated by the Guyanese government. It would also massively increase Guyana’s CO2 output without any benefits to the country. Exxon HAS to pipe the natural gas to shore. The construction of a state-of-the-art natural gas power plant should have highest priority. In addition, the natural gas could be used for hydrogen production, a resource that will become more and more in demand there will be a shift to electric cars powered by hydrogen-fuel cells. South Korea and Japan are putting lots of resource to develop this technology.

  • brandli62  On 02/11/2020 at 4:29 am

    For those interested in gas powered plants, check out this link:

  • Trevor  On 02/11/2020 at 7:06 pm

    How many millions or billions of barrels of oil was discovered at the Uaru well if the 8 billion amount is up to the 15th discovery? It appears that this tiny portion of the offshore contains so much oil.

  • jim  On 02/12/2020 at 5:18 pm

    I have some good news for you. Our geological analysis is based upon a hypothesis that the Guyana offshore oil basin is a mirror image of the geological belt of West Africa. Nigeria has discovered a massive oil find, similar in volume as to what ExxonMobil has been discovering in Guyana with multi-billion barrel wells:

    It’s a great time to be exploring for oil in Guyana because I am certain that the Anadarko block might contain a potential reserve of 60 to 80 billion barrels of oil and gas equivalent.

    Guyana could be the top 5 oil producers and countries with the largest oil reserves in the future. If you exclude the tar sands in Canada and Venezuela, Guyana could be in 2nd place.

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