(Hess, 27.Jan.2021) — Hess Corporation provided operational highlights from the fourth quarter of 2020 and its operations in the US Bakken, the US Gulf of Mexico, offshore Guyana and Malaysia.
Bakken (Onshore U.S.): Net production from the Bakken increased to 189,000 boepd from 174,000 boepd in the prior-year quarter. Net oil production was 97,000 bopd compared with 106,000 bopd in the fourth quarter of 2019, primarily due to decreased drilling and completion activity as a result of reducing the number of operated rigs from six to one in May 2020. Natural gas and NGL production increased from additional natural gas captured and processed, and approximately 6,000 boepd of additional volumes received under percentage of proceeds contracts resulting from lower prices. The Corporation operated one rig in the fourth quarter, drilling 7 wells, completing 8 wells, and bringing 12 new wells online.
As previously announced, the Corporation chartered three very large crude carriers (VLCCs) to transport and store a total of 6.3 million barrels of Bakken crude oil produced during the second and third quarters of 2020 for sale in Asian markets. The first VLCC cargo of 2.1 million barrels was sold in September and cash proceeds were received in October. In December, the Corporation entered into agreements to sell the second and third VLCC cargos totaling 4.2 million barrels for delivery in the first quarter of 2021. The sales, including associated hedging gains and costs will be recognized, and cash proceeds will be received, in the first quarter of 2021.
Gulf of Mexico (Offshore U.S.): Net production from the Gulf of Mexico was 32,000 boepd, compared with 70,000 boepd in the prior-year quarter reflecting downtime for hurricane-related maintenance in the quarter and lower production from the Shenzi Field, which was sold in November 2020 for net proceeds of $482mn. Net production from the Shenzi Field was 3,000 boepd in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared with 12,000 boepd in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Guyana (Offshore): At the Stabroek Block (Hess – 30%), the Corporation’s net production from the Liza Field, which commenced in December 2019, averaged 26,000 bopd in the fourth quarter of 2020. The operator, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, completed the commissioning of the natural gas injection system allowing the Liza Destiny floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) to reach its nameplate capacity of 120,000 gross bopd in December. Phase 2 of the Liza Field development, which will utilize the Liza Unity FPSO with an expected capacity of 220,000 gross bopd, remains on target to achieve first oil by early 2022. The Payara development was sanctioned in September 2020 and will utilize the Prosperity FPSO with an expected capacity of 220,000 gross bopd, with first oil targeted in 2024.
At the Kaieteur Block (Hess – 15%), the operator, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, completed drilling of the Tanager-1 exploration well, which did not encounter commercial quantities of hydrocarbons on a stand-alone basis. Fourth quarter results include a charge of $14mn in exploration expense for well costs incurred. At the Stabroek Block, the Hassa-1 well encountered approximately 50 feet of oil bearing reservoir in deeper geologic intervals, although the well did not encounter oil in the primary target areas. Well data will be incorporated into future exploration and development planning.
After drilling the Tanager-1 well, the Stena Carron drillship completed appraisal work at the Redtail-1 well before moving to the Canje Block, offshore Guyana. After drilling the Hassa-1 well, the Noble Don Taylor drillship began development drilling at Liza Phase 2. The Noble Bob Douglas and the Noble Tom Madden drillships are currently drilling and completing Liza Phase 2 development wells.
Malaysia and JDA (Offshore): Net production at the North Malay Basin and JDA was 56,000 boepd, compared with 64,000 boepd in the prior-year quarter, reflecting COVID-19 impacts on economic activity in Malaysia and Thailand which reduced natural gas