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A Tullow Oil employee looks out to sea while on a floating production, storage and offloading vessel. (Photo: Stabroek News)

Tullow Oil returns to Guyana-Suriname basin

A Tullow Oil employee looks out to sea while on a floating production, storage and offloading vessel. (Photo: Stabroek News)

After a year of relative inactivity in the Guyana-Suriname, though recording one discovery of high-quality crude offshore Guyana, United Kingdom-based Tullow Oil has announced that it will return to the region this year.

“Tullow has a busy year ahead as we begin implementing the business plan”

— Rahul Dhir, CEO, Tullow Oil

In its “Trading Statement and Operational Update”, dated January 27, 2021, Tullow Oil informed its shareholders, “In the Suriname-Guyana basin, drilling of the Goliathberg-Voltzberg North (GVN-1) exploration well in Block 47 in Suriname is expected to commence shortly. Work also continues on developing the prospect inventory on the Orinduik and Kanuku licences offshore Guyana.”

The company’s CEO, Rahul Dhir, also shared that “Tullow has a busy year ahead as we begin implementing the business plan”. However, he said the company will execute projects with a view to reducing its cost and debt while generating positive cash flow and building a strong balance.

Chief Executive Officer of Tullow Oil Rahul Dhir (Photo: Chemical Industry Digest)

Since this announcement, though, online gas and oil publication Rigzone has revealed that the company began spudding of GVN-1 last Monday, January 26, using the Stena Forth drillship.

Last year, in January, Tullow Oil announced its discovery of high-quality crude in Guyana’s offshore Carapa-1 oil well.

Yet, just a couple weeks later, the UK-based company said it would not engage any further in drilling the area for 2020. Instead, according to Chief Operating Officer Mark MacFarlane, Tullow would have reviewed the results of its exploration under its Kanuku and Orinduik licences in Guyana. 

Tullow Oil abandons drilling in Guyana for 2020

Scope of oil drilling

As operator of the well, Tullow Oil owns 50 per cent rights to the block while its partners, Pluspetrol and Israel-based Ratio Petroleum hold holds 30 per cent and 20 per cent interests.

According to an estimate from Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc, GVN-1 covers holds an estimated 235 million barrels of oil with a 34 per cent geological chance of success.

The Stena Forth drillship (Photo courtesy of Stena Drilling)

Block 47, which is the location for another two prospects and spans 2,350 square kilometres (907 square miles), contains 927 million barrels of oil.

Tullow will drill the GVN-1 at a water depth of 6,234 feet (1,900 metres) to a total depth of 17,717 feet (5,400 meters), with the hope of presenting results after 70 days.