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Guyana emerging as a new oil frontier

Streak continues for Guyana with Exxon's latest oil discovery having ripple effects.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Guyana emerging as one of the better frontier prospects for oil and gas with Exxon declaring its third major success offshore. File photo by A.J. Sisco/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/9fcd4b8d6a407c3efc37db0637b80c35/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Guyana emerging as one of the better frontier prospects for oil and gas with Exxon declaring its third major success offshore. File photo by A.J. Sisco/UPI | License Photo

March 31 (UPI) -- A discovery ff oil by Exxon Mobil off the coast of Guyana suggests the country is emerging as the sector's next major hot spot, a regional player said.

Exxon announced a new discovery at its Snoek well offshore Guyana earlier this week. It's the third such discovery for the supermajor and drilling was in reservoirs similar to those previously encountered. In its declaration of discovery, Exxon said Snoek was part of a "significant," but technically complex, offshore prospect.

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Attention to Guyana follows support from the International Monetary Fund of national plans to develop a legal framework for managing its oil wealth. The IMF said growth for Guyana was steady, but uneven, with a gain in real gross domestic product of 3.5 percent expected this year, driven in part by expansions in the broader extractive industries.

Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas Ltd. said Friday that Exxon's third discovery offshore Guyana solidified the country as an emerging prospect in northern South America. The Snoek prospect is about five miles from the company's 700-square-mile Orinduik block.

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Gil Holzman, the company's CEO, said the Snoek discovery shows Guyana is emerging as one of the better oil and gas prospects in the world.

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"Such developments merely reinforce the board's growing conviction that Eco-Atlantic's collection of international oil and gas prospects represents a significant, potentially world-class portfolio," he added.

The Liza field off the coast of Guyana was considered one of the industry's largest find in a decade. A production test by Exxon last year in the Liza-2 well indicated the presence of between 800 million and 1.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

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A survey from the U.S. Geological Survey finds the waters off the coast of Guyana may be among the more lucrative oil basins in the world, with a mean undiscovered resource potential at around 15.2 billion barrels.

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