After five years of exploration Exxon (XOM) abandons drilling off the coast of Brazil

After failing for the third time to find commercially viable amounts of crude there last year, the Texas oil giant has shifted geologists and engineers from working on the offshore acreage it began snapping up with partners for $4 billion in 2017 to other countries, including Guyana, Angola and Canada, these people said.

Exxon hasn’t put out tenders to drilling contractors for exploratory work there in the year since its last active rig contract expired in April 2022, analysts said, and it skipped Brazil’s latest offshore auction in December.

In December, Exxon Chief Executive Darren Woods pointed to Brazil as one of its major “growth opportunities” and part of its portfolio of low-cost supply developments, alongside Guyana, the Permian Basin of West Texas, and New Mexico, and exports of liquefied natural gas.

Exxon’s moves to dismantle its recent drilling campaign in Brazil mark a major setback in a country that it has promoted for years as a key source of growth. 

Exxon hasn’t ruled out future projects in Brazil, people familiar with the matter said. Michelle Gray, a spokeswoman for Exxon, said the company is still engaged in Brazil and continues to pursue exploration activity in the country.

Exxon Quits Drilling in Brazil After Failing to Find Oil – WSJ