OPINION: Move over ExxonMobil, there’s a new kid in Georgetown.

Not quite, but the emergence of a second potential developer in Guyana’s nascent oil and gas sector in the form of Tullow Oil is welcome news for the country, ExxonMobil and ultimately the wider industry.

Not to mention the almost audible sigh of relief at Tullow after the Jethro discovery on its Orinduik block finally put an end to a years-long line of dusters at a player previously steeped in exploration success.

Tullow’s potentially new play-opening oil find has yet to be assessed for an accurate resource size.

And while the Anglo-Irish independent has a long way to go to replicate the success of ExxonMobil et al on the neighbouring Stabroek block, one strike from one wildcat bodes well for future exploration efforts on a tract that has at least 15 prospects across multiple potential play types.

Tullow has already said it is confident the Jethro discovery has the potential to yield a commercial standalone development.

ExxonMobil and partners CNOOC International and Hess are already well on their way to developing the first few of their 13 discoveries on Stabroek, with two projects sanctioned, another imminent, and the ambition of at least five floaters on the block likely to ultimately prove a very low-ball target.

If Tullow and its partners — Total, Eco Atlantic and, soon, Qatar Petroleum — do fire the starting gun on a first Orinduik development, it should further help capacity-building efforts in what is sure to be a staple industry in Guyana for years to come.

(This is an Upstream opinion article.)