Sep 18, 2020 News
– to produce 220,000 barrels of light, sweet crude-Hess CEO
By Kiana Wilburg
Confident that they will get the Government’s approval for Payara, its third oil project in the Stabroek Block in a matter of weeks, it appears that ExxonMobil and its other partners, Hess Corporation and CNOOC/NEXEN, already have their eyes set on which discovery will be next in its production sequence.
During his latest participation in a fireside chat at the J.P. Morgan U.S. All Stars Conference, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Hess Corporation, John Hess, noted that the partners are relatively optimistic that the Yellow-tail discovery will support its fourth drillship and produce at a capacity of 220,000 barrels of oil per day, the same as Payara.
The Yellow-tail discovery was made in April last year by ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL).
It was dubbed one of the largest discoveries in the world for 2019. It encountered approximately 292 feet (89 metres) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir and was drilled to a depth of 18,445 feet (5,622 metres) in 6,046 feet (1,843 metres) of water.
Subsequent appraisal drilling further proved that the resource is indeed an enormous one. According to Westwood Global Energy, it is believed to hold more than 300 million barrels of oil equivalent resources.
Hess acknowledged during the virtual conference that Guyana will be a huge part of the company’s success while noting that the Yellow-tail and the recent Red-tail discoveries have marked a total of 18 finds in the Stabroek Block. Also, the discoveries to date now total more than eight billion oil equivalent resources. The CEO said that the company sees more potential in the block for multi-billion barrel resources too.
“…We are still in the early innings for Guyana. It continues to get bigger and better.”
In providing an overview of the Guyana operations, he reminded that Liza Phase One, which is already producing oil, is expected to reach its peak production of 120,000 barrels of oil by month-end.
As for Liza Phase Two, Hess said that the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPDO) Vessel is on stream for its 2022 target. It is expected to produce 220,000 barrels of oil per day. As for the works on the Payara vessel, Hess said that this has been suspended pending government approval.
He is nonetheless optimistic that “technical issues” plaguing that process will be addressed and the partners will get the government’s blessing by month-end.
For future operations, the Chief Executive Officer said that the partners are looking at developing Yellow-tail as it is a large resource which consists of lighter crude. “…We are doing the pre-development work now to make that the fourth ship…”
Urau-1, the 16th discovery at the offshore deep-water Stabroek block, is likely to be developed to support a fifth drillship while the Turbot , ExxonMobil’s fifth oil discovery, is earmarked to support a sixth ship.
The potential, he said, also exists to develop Hammerhead, a heavy oil discovery, for a seventh ship. “…So there is the potential for seven ships but right now we are talking about five to bring on board, which will give you 750,000 barrels of oil by 2026,” the CEO concluded.
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