Overland Park firm discovers billions in South American oil during first offshore drill

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- It's more than beginner's luck.

It's a major discovery in the energy industry, and an Overland Park exploration firm helped find it, drilling offshore for the first time.

In early August, Kinley Exploration uncovered a huge deposit of oil off the South American coast of Guyana, which is said to be word billions.

Greg Embery, Kinley Exploration's vice-president of geology, said the company's Johnson County leaders have been searching for oil in that are for five years. When their exploration crew found pockets of the good stuff a month ago, the discovery, which could include 220 million barrels, was a reward for hard work.

"There`s a fair amount of oil there," Embery nodded.

Company officials estimate its value at $13 billion. Embery explained that its enough oil to fill 14,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Kinley Exploration, or Echo Atlantic as the company is publicly traded in various stock indices, uses a giant drilling ship to penetrate the ocean floor, underneath 5,000 feet of ocean water.

Colin Kinley, the company's CEO, said it costs roughly $1 million per day to operate that vessel, which makes its home base on the African continent.

Kinley Exploration's office in Overland Park gets a live data feed directly from the drilling rig, informing the company owners and investors of what's been found, including this massive discovery.

Kinley Exploration's take of 15% could be worth millions.

"That was a thick one. It was 100% saturated with oil," Embery said. "Their estimate is for 220 barrels of oil. That`s a pretty good find."

"It`s Guyana`s oil, and yeah, we get our fair share for finding it," Colin Kinley said. "If we put a floating platform in there, and we start pumping oil a couple of years from now, we'll pump 120,000 barrels per day more or less for about a six-year period. It`s pretty significant."

Kinley Exploration's leaders said they were drawn to the Guyanese site because of a similar discovery off the coast of Africa. Geologists say South America and the African continent were connected at one time, and scientists are often able to use commonalities between the two for the sake of study and exploration.

What's more, the company believes there may be more large pockets of oil in that same dark corner of the ocean's floor.

Kinley and Embery said they`re also happy to help the Guyanaese people. That nation's economy ranks it as the poorest in South America.

Colin Kinley said this discovery will make a big change in that.

"Guyana is going to move from being one of the poorest countries in South America to being one of the richest per capita in the world by 2026 because of this discovery," Kinley said.

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