Guyana, which is located in South America between Suriname and Venezuela and is part of the prolific Guyana-Suriname Basin, has in recent years become one of the most prominent spots for exploration and production for the oil and gas industry. As part of the accelerated activities in recent years, oil field with volumes of more than 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil were discovered in more than 20 different discoveries in the Basin. These discoveries and remaining potential in Guyana’s EEZ have led many energy companies to invest large sums of capital in the exploration and development of these resources. Currently, the world’s top-tier energy companies are operating in the country, including ExxonMobil, Total, Shell, Repsol, Hess, Tullow, and more.
As part of the strategy of developing virgin basins, the Partnership’s head geologist Eitan Aizenberg identified the immense potential in Guyana, which led Ratio in as early as 2012 to apply for a license in the Kaieteur Block, which extends over an area of approx. 15,535 sq km. The license was awarded in 2015. In the years following, the Partnership added leading global companies to the license such as ExxonMobil, which is the operator of the Block, Hess, and Cataleya. The Partnership currently holds 25% of the interests in the Block.
In 2020, the partners of the Block drilled Tanager-1, the first exploration well in the Kaieteur Block which was performed in ultra-deep water. Upon the completion of the drilling operations, the Partnership announced a discovery with estimated reserves of approx. 65 million barrels of oil, according to independent assessments by NSAI. While the license partners continue to analyze the extensive datasets which were collected during the operations, in February 2021 the Partnership released an updated resources report for the Block, evaluating 11 prospects located in three different clusters, with the potential for over 2 billion barrels of oil. Towards the end of the first quarter of 2022, ExxonMobil is committed to notify whether it intends to proceed with a second drilling campaign in the block area and in which prospect. If a decision is made in relation to a second well, it is expected that the campaign will begin in late 2022-early 2023.
As part of Ratio Petroleum’s strategy of entering undeveloped basins, the Partnership decided to bid in a government tender for exploration areas east of Palawan Island. After winning the tender in 2016, Ratio Petroleum was awarded a large exploration area in 2018. In 2019, based on initial leads mapping, the Partnership received the approval of the Philippine government for the expansion of the SC76 exploration area by around 50% in order to efficiently covers the exploration potential of the area. The Partnership, which also serves as the operator of the block, currently holds 100% of the block, which extends over an area of approx. 6,480 sq km, at water depths ranging 900-1,700 meters.
Following the interpretation and analysis of the seismic data and a mapping of a number of promising leads, the Partnership reached a decision to proceed to a 3D seismic survey which is supposed to take place in the upcoming year, for the purpose of making a future decision on the location of the first exploration well. Concurrently with the work being conducted in the Block area, the Partnership is considering various offers for partners to the SC76 license.
Similar to Guyana and the Philippines and as part of Ratio Petroleum’s strategy to enter undeveloped basins, in October 2021 the Partnership engaged in an agreement with the Government of Morocco for the exclusive rights to study and research the Dakhla Atlantique Block. The Block, which extends over a significant area of approx. 109,000 sq km, is located in the Atlantic Ocean, at water depths ranging between the shoreline and a depth of more than 3,000 meters. The Partnership will hold 100% of the interests in the Block during the research agreement.
In the research period, in the first two years (with an option to be extended), the Partnership is expected to reprocess existing seismic data and to conduct an initial interpretation in order to map significant leads and prospects for potential future exploration well/s. Under the agreement, at the end of the research period the Partnership can request an exploration and production license in the Block area.