ExxonMobil and its Joint Venture (JV) partners in the Stabroek Block—Hess Corporation and CNOOC-Nexen—have projected a daily production rate of 750,000 barrels of oil per day by 2025, but the figures “don’t add up.”
Compounding the situation, 30 per cent stakeholder in the operation, John Hess was on Wednesday unable to provide a clear answer to explain how the companies plan to realize the ambitious target.
The Hess Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was at the time speaking at the 2019 Global Energy Conference being held in Miami, Florida, USA, when confronted with the notion of the figures not adding up.
The view was put to Hess: “750,000 barrels a day in 2025, the numbers don’t add up,” and was asked “What do you think the true scale of the opportunity (in Guyana) is today?”
In seeking to provide an answer, Hess said, “what we as a JV have announced is that we have over six billion barrels of oil equivalent that’s been a discovered resource” and “multi billion barrels of exploration potential remaining.”
According to Hess, “Exxon has already said, that discovered resource will underpin at least five ships and at least 750,000 barrels by 2025, so I think it’s, at least…”
Preferring to focus on Exxon’s projection of “at least” five Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSOs), Hess posited, “…certainly if you do the math you can get to a number higher than that by 2025.”
Without qualifying his statement, Hess disclosed, “ the reason we are doing all the appraisal drilling this year and the first half of next year in the Liza to Turbot area is to get better definition about what ship four, what ship five is, and potentially what ship six is and what ship seven is.”
MARCH NEXT YEAR
Projecting “more to come,” Hess yesterday said, “hopefully when we get to our quarterly call in January, we can give you more definition.”
According to the Hess Corporation CEO, ExxonMobil would also be making a clearer pronouncement sometime in March of next year, in terms of the number of FPSOs to be used and “what the production rate is going to be”.
The only two projects that have been approved for Production are the Liza Destiny and Liza Unity for the Liza I and 2 oilfields in the Stabroek Block.
The first is expected to come on stream in the coming month with capacity peaking at a production of 120,000 barrels per day.
The second sanctioned operation uses a vessel—the Liza Unity—with a capacity of 220,000 barrels per day and comes on stream in 2022.
This brings a peak approved capacity thus far, at 340,000 barrels per day, using the two vessels.
The third—still to be approved FPSO—has been identified as the Liza Prosperity and according to public disclosure, will have similar capacity as the Liza Unity–220,000 barrels per day.
It is unclear at what stage this vessel would come online but a Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) contract has been signed with Dutch Floater specialists, SBM Offshore—the company that built the first and is building the second FPSO for ExxonMobil.
The Hess CEO was at the time unable to provide any further details on the production targets at the Hammerhead area—which is being targeted for a fourth FPSO—until appraisals could be complete.
As such it is unclear just how ExxonMobil plans to achieve production of 750,000 barrels per day by 2025.
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