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Seventh oil discovery made offshore Guyana

Exxon says the latest find could bring total output to more than 500,000 barrels of oil per day.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Exxon Mobil and its partners announce they made the seventh discovery of oil off the coast of Guyana. Photo courtesy of Hess Corp.
Exxon Mobil and its partners announce they made the seventh discovery of oil off the coast of Guyana. Photo courtesy of Hess Corp.

Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Production from offshore Guyana to more than a half million barrels per day is supported with the latest oil discovery, the seventh for a partnership.

Exxon Mobil announced oil was discovered in the Pacora-1 exploration well offshore Guyana.

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"Pacora will be developed in conjunction with the giant Payara field, and along with other phases, will help bring Guyana production to more than 500,000 barrels per day," Steve Greenlee, president of Exxon Mobil's exploration arm, said in a statement.

The discovery comes about one month after drilling began in the deep waters offshore Guyana. The sixth discovery off the coast of Guyana was declared by Exxon during the fourth quarter and the company put the total reserve estimate at more than 3.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, not counting the latest finds.

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Hess Corp., one of Exxon's partners in Guyana, shed assets last year across a wide portfolio range to help fund operations at the Liza field. The first phase of drilling in the Liza development off the coast of Guyana, in which Hess holds a 30 percent stake, is expected to start in the second quarter and production should begin by 2020.

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Hess estimated it would cost at least $3.2 billion to fully develop the broader offshore Liza field, which the company's CEO said could yield "a decade plus of returns-driven growth." CEO John Hess said Wednesday the Pacora reserves are included as part of the next phase of development using a floating production storage and offloading unit.

"The giant Payara field, which is planned as the third development offshore Guyana, will now include Pacora resources -- increasing the size of the FPSO and bringing expected gross production from the first three phases of development to more than 500,000 barrels of oil per day," he said in a statement.

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The drillship parked over the Pacora find is slated now to move over to the Liza field, which is scheduled for its fifth well.

Exxon reported its oil-equivalent production during the fourth quarter was on average 4 million barrels per day, a decline of about 130,000 barrels per day, or 3 percent lower than fourth quarter 2016.

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