Guyana oil production could surpass Venezuela, Mexico: WoodMac

Thanks to ExxonMobil’s run of success in oil exploration offshore Guyana, the country is on a path to becoming a Latin American powerhouse, Wood Mackenzie said on Tuesday.

The supermajor announced its tenth Guyana discovery this week, increasing the discovered recoverable resource in its Stabroek Block to more than five billion barrels.

On track to produce a million barrels, Guyana's Liza Complex now best compares to Brazil's Lula-Iracema, one of the world's largest deepwater finds, said Luiz Hayum, research analyst with Wood Mackenzie’s Latin America upstream oil and gas team.

ExxonMobil holds 45 percent interest in the 6.6-million acre Stabroek Block, while Hess holds 30 percent interest and CNOOC Nexen holds 25 percent interest.

"With 17 prospects still to drill, Stabroek is writing Guyana's future. It will easily become the fourth largest oil producing nation in Latin America by the next decade, with chances to outperform the countries preceding it. If Venezuela and Mexico fail to address production declines, Guyana could quickly surpass them to number two," Hayum said.

There are many prospects left to chase at the Stabroek block, with a success rate of 83 so far, Wood Mackenzie said.

"The giant, low breakeven discoveries are key to the partners," Hayum added. "At peak, the project accounts for a third of Hess' future production. For ExxonMobil, Guyana strengthens its growing deepwater portfolio, while for CNOOC it addresses efforts to offset domestic declines."