For the last three years, American oil giant, ExxonMobil has been the only source regarding Guyana’s oil production figures come 2020 and beyond. To date, Exxon has said that Guyana is set to produce over 700,000 barrels of oil per day. But not a single minister of Government has called for these figures to be independently verified.
This is in spite of the fact that several international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have said that they have the right, and power, to do so.
In fact, international lawyer, Melinda Janki during a panel discussion at Moray House criticized the government for failing to exercise its right to verify the figures being released by ExxonMobil. Janki said that in the absence of independent verification, ExxonMobil is essentially calling the shots.
Janki said, “Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan told a mining conference in Canada that Guyana has 3.7 billion barrels of oil. He got that figure from Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited…Has this figure been independently verified? No! Without independent verification, the Minister does not know what he is talking about.”
The lawyer added, “He may want to believe what he is told, but he does not know. For now, the amount of oil in our reserves is whatever ExxonMobil says it is.”
4 BILLION BARRELS
On July 23, last, ExxonMobil increased its estimate of discovered recoverable resources for the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana to more than 4 billion oil-equivalent barrels and has advanced its evaluation to support a third phase of development and consideration of two additional phases.
The company said that the increase follows completion of testing at the Liza-5 appraisal well, a discovery at Ranger, incorporation of the eighth discovery, Longtail, into the Turbot area evaluation and completion of the Pacora discovery evaluation. The previous recoverable resource estimate was 3.2 billion oil-equivalent barrels.
“Outstanding resource quality across these opportunities combined with industry-leading project execution capabilities will provide great value to
resource owners, partners and our shareholders,” said Neil Chapman, senior vice president, ExxonMobil Corporation.
“Continued success in Guyana and progress in other upstream growth projects in the U.S. Permian Basin, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea and Brazil are giving us additional confidence in achieving our long-term earnings growth plans that we outlined in March.”
Guyana’s first development, Liza Phase 1, will use a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel to produce 120,000 barrels of oil per day, starting by early 2020. Liza Phase 2, which is targeted for sanctioning by the end of this year, will use an FPSO vessel designed to produce up to 220,000 barrels of oil per day by mid-2022.
ExxonMobil noted, “The Liza-5 well successfully tested the northern portion of the Liza field and, along with the giant Payara field, will support a third phase of development in Guyana. The Payara development will target sanctioning in 2019 and will use an FPSO vessel designed to produce approximately 180,000 barrels of oil per day, as early as 2023.”
The Longtail well, ExxonMobil said, established the Turbot-Longtail area as a potential development hub for recovery of more than 500 million oil-equivalent barrels. Additional prospects to be drilled in this area could increase this estimate.
ExxonMobil said that the collective discoveries on the Stabroek Block to date have established the potential for up to five FPSOs producing over 750,000 barrels per day by 2025.
“There is potential for additional production from significant undrilled targets and plans for rapid exploration and appraisal drilling, including at the Ranger discovery.”
The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). ExxonMobil affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, is the operator and holds 45 percent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30 percent interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25 percent interest.
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