Feb 01, 2021 News
By Kemol King
Kaieteur News- If ExxonMobil is allowed to continue with its current pace of development, it will only need five Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels to meet production capacity of a million barrels of oil per day in the Stabroek block.
This would significantly surpass the company’s current Stabroek block production rate target. In its September 30 statement announcing it would proceed with the Payara development, ExxonMobil said last year, “The 18 discoveries on the block to date have established the potential for at least five FPSO vessels producing more than 750,000 barrels of oil per day by 2026.”
So far, ExxonMobil has operationalised one approved development, Liza Phase One. The nameplate capacity for the FPSO operating there, the Liza Destiny, is 120,000 barrels of oil per day. Its production level has been below that amount for a significant portion of time between first oil in December, 2019 and today, due to issues with the gas compressor system for the oil ship. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had last year slashed ExxonMobil’s production to keep flaring levels low, while ExxonMobil worked on repairing the defective equipment.
After it reported fixing the equipment in December, 2020, flaring was reduced to pilot levels – the minimum level of flaring required to maintain a safe operation – and the company’s production ramped up.
Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Hess Corporation, Gregory Hill said during a January 27 earnings call that the Liza Destiny has been producing at or above nameplate capacity since mid-December. He said that the vessel had been steadily producing about 127,000 barrels a day in the week leading up to the call. Hill also said that ExxonMobil has planned a third quarter shutdown at the Liza Destiny to evaluate and pursue options to increase the operation’s nameplate capacity.
The Liza Phase One operation targets 450 million barrels of oil.
The second approved operation is Liza Phase Two. Scheduled for first oil next year, the operation will utilize the Liza Unity FPSO, which is being constructed in Singapore with a nameplate capacity of 220,000 barrels of oil per day. It targets 600 million barrels.
The third approved operation is Payara. It is scheduled for first oil in 2024, utilizing the Prosperity FPSO, which is designed to produce 220,000 barrels of oil per day, just like the Liza Unity. It targets 500 million barrels.
ExxonMobil and its Stabroek block partners anticipate that they will submit a field development plan (FDP) to the government of Guyana for approval, by the end of the year. Chief Operating Officer of Hess Corporation, Gregory Hill, said last Wednesday that this would be for ExxonMobil’s fourth intended development in the block, at the Yellowtail-1 well. The operation is expected to have a nameplate capacity of 220,000 barrels a day. The Yellowtail-1 well is estimated to have 300 million barrels of oil.
These four developments would have a combined nameplate capacity of 780,000 barrels per day and more, once ExxonMobil completes its infrastructural revisions at the Liza Destiny.
Furthermore, a fifth FPSO with the same nameplate capacity as the three before it, would take the total daily production in the Stabroek block to 1,000,000 barrels.
ExxonMobil’s aspirations for the Stabroek block do not end there. ExxonMobil’s Global Vice President of Deepwater Projects, Jayme Meier, told the Rio Oil & Gas 2020 digital conference in December that the company sees the potential for 7-10 FPSOs in the block.
The current administration does not appear willing to stand in the way of such rapid development. Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo has said that he is in support of aggressive production of Guyana’s reserves before demand wanes during the energy transition.
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