American energy giant ExxonMobil made its 15th oil discovery offshore Guyana in South America, the company announced in a statement on Monday.
The most recent discovery was made at the Mako-1 well, located approximately 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) southeast of the Liza field on the 26,800 square-kilometer Stabroek Block.
The discovery adds to the current resource estimate of more than six billion barrels of oil equivalent, the statement said.
Phase 1 of the Liza field began oil production on Dec. 20 and is expected to have an output of 120,000 barrels per day (bpd). With phase 2, oil output capacity is estimated to reach 220,000 bpd once additional production begins by mid-2022.
A third oil development, from the Payara field north of the Liza discoveries, could start as early as 2023, and could see an additional output of 220,000 bpd.
"New discoveries in this world-class basin have the potential to support additional developments," Mike Cousins, senior vice president of exploration and new ventures at ExxonMobil, said in the statement.
The company conducts drilling activities in Guyana with four drill ships, according to the statement.
In the Stabroek Block, ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is the operator and holds a 45% interest.
While Hess Guyana Exploration Limited holds a 30% interest and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds the remaining 25% stake.
By Ovunc Kutlu