July 23 (UPI) -- The size of a reservoir off the coast of Guyana is "massive," the CEO of Hess Corp. said Monday after a multi-million barrel revision to reserve estimates.
Hess and Exxon Mobil on Monday revised the estimate of recoverable reserves at the Stabroek block off the coast of Guyana from 3.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent to more than 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
"The Stabroek block is a massive world class resource that keeps getting bigger and better," Hess Corp. CEO John Hess said in a statement. "Since the end of 2016, the estimate for recoverable resources on the block has quadrupled and we continue to see multi-billion barrels of additional exploration potential on the block."
Hess said the revision followed the inclusion of data from new discoveries offshore Guyana and the completion of the fifth appraisal well at the Liza oil field. Dubbed Longtail, the latest discovery made near the giant Liza field could be producing about 500,000 barrels per day by late 2023.
The initial phase of development at Liza was sanctioned in June 2016 and called for the use of a floating production, storage and offloading vessel that will lead to an initial production rate of 120,000 barrels of oil per day.
Phase 2 calls for a second FPSO with a gross production capacity of 220,000 barrels per day and planning is already under way for a third phase of development offshore Guyana.
"The collective discoveries on the Stabroek block to date have established the potential for up to five FPSOs producing over 750,000 barrels per day by 2025," the statement from Hess read.
Hess in June sold off its joint venture interests in the Appalachian shale basin in eastern Ohio to Ascent Resources for $400 million, using the proceeds in part to fund operations offshore Guyana. The company estimates it would cost at least $3.2 billion to fully develop the broader offshore Liza field.
Consultant group Wood Mackenzie said offshore Guyana is a competitive prospect with a break-even price at about $35 per barrel. Brent, the global benchmark for the price of oil, was trading near $74 per barrel on Monday.
Hess reported a net loss of $106 million in the first quarter, compared with a loss of $324 million in the same period in 2017. The company attributed the improvement to higher crude oil prices and lower operating costs.
Hess releases its second quarter earnings report on Wednesday.