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The Valaris EXL II drilling for oil in the Carapa-1 well offshore Guyana. (Photo: Oil Now)

Tullow Oil abandons drilling in Guyana for 2020

The Valaris EXL II drilling for oil in the Carapa-1 well offshore Guyana. (Photo: Oil Now)

Despite announcing its discovery of high-quality crude in Guyana’s offshore Carapa-1 oil well, United Kingdom-based Tullow Oil will not be drilling in the waters of the South American country.

According to a report from BNAmericas, Tullow Oil Chief Operating Officer Mark MacFarlane revealed that the company will instead review results of its exploration under its Kanuku and Orinduik licences in Guyana.

Tullow Oil’s Chief Operating Officer Mark MacFarlane (Photo: Tullow Oil)

“In terms of further Guyana drilling this year, we really do need to integrate that real-world data that we got from our three wells into our various models, so it is unlikely we will be drilling any Guyana wells this year,” the report quotes MacFarlane.

“We need to let that technical work to run its course before we decide what will be our next well and when would be that next well,” the COO added.

A drill descends into Atlantic waters off the coast of Guyana in search of crude oil.
(Photo: Tullow Oil)

MacFarlane made the comments during a conference call on Tuesday, January 14, in which Tullow Oil’s release of trading statement and operation update were the subjects of discussion.

Less than expected results

Although reporting US$1.7 billion in net revenue and estimatimg gross profit of approximately US$700 million, Tullow Oil said it “expects to report pre-tax impairments and exploration write-offs of [US]$1.5 billion.

Still, several news outlets speculate that the company’s refusal to drill in Guyana stems from the discovery of crude being at less than estimated levels.

“We need to let that technical work to run its course before we decide what will be our next well and when would be that next well.”

Mark MacFarlane, COO, Tullow Oil plc

On January 2, when announcing the find in Carapa-1, MacFarlane noted: ” “The Carapa-1 result is an important exploration outcome with positive implications for both the Kanuku and Orinduik blocks. While net pay and reservoir development at this location are below our pre-drill estimates, we are encouraged to find good quality oil which proves the extension of the prolific Cretaceous play into our acreage.”

A vessel designated to transport crude oil traverses the waters offshore Guyana (File photo)

“We will now integrate the results of the three exploration wells drilled in these adjacent licences into our Guyana and Suriname geological and geophysical models before deciding the future work programme,” he continued.  

Tullow Oil explained then that, along with stakeholders Repsol Exploración Guyana and Total E&P Guyana BV, its subsidiary, Tullow Guyana BV, agreed to plug and abandon the Carapa-1 well.