Kaieteur News – Guyana’s Payara Gold crude, the third grade set to enter production from the vast 6.6-million-acre lucrative Stabroek block, is on course to begin its loading operations in November, as per information obtained by S&P Global Commodity Insights.
S&P Global is known for its invaluable role in providing governments, businesses, and individuals with accurate data, expert insights, and cutting-edge technology to facilitate confident decision-making.
As revealed in the programme, S&P stated that two 1-million-barrel shipments of Payara are scheduled for loading in November. This program also outlines seven shipments of Unity Gold crude and five shipments of Liza crude.
Notably, one of the Payara cargo loadings, scheduled for November 10-11, is a collaborative effort among the Stabroek joint venture partners. The second Payara cargo, set for loading on November 20-21, will be handled by ExxonMobil Guyana.
The three key partners involved in the development of the Stabroek block are ExxonMobil, Hess, and China’s CNOOC. The inclusion of Payara Gold in the November loading schedule signifies that Guyana’s production is either on track or ahead of schedule, contrasting with initial estimates that Payara would come online by the end of 2023.
ExxonMobil country manager, Alistair Routledge had previously mentioned in a September 7 interview that the Payara field would commence production by the end of 2023, following the commencement of operations by the Prosperity Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel.
With Guyana already achieving a production rate of 400,000 barrels per day from two FPSOs, the addition of Payara will elevate output to 600,000 barrels per day, keeping the project well on course to have six production units operational by the close of 2027, according to Routledge.
Forecasts from S&P Global Commodity Insights anticipate that Guyana’s production will exceed 400,000 barrels per day by the conclusion of 2023, mainly driven by the initiation of the Payara project. The projection extends to envision production reaching 1.2 million barrels per day by the latter part of the 2020s.
Payara is known for being the heaviest of the medium sweet crudes produced in Guyana so far, based on assays available on ExxonMobil’s website. In contrast, Liza, the initial grade emerging from the ExxonMobil-led consortium, is a 32 API crude with approximately 0.58% sulfur, while Unity Gold is a 34.5 API crude with 0.41% sulfur, according to a July 2023 assay. Payara, by comparison, holds a 28 API rating and a 0.58% sulfur content.
Interestingly, despite Payara’s characterization as a heavier crude, initial offers for Payara reportedly carried a premium of 50 cents per barrel over Unity Gold – said S&P Global. Moreover, it was added that some sources speculate that this premium could reflect the joint venture partners’ market-testing approach or perhaps indicate that Payara boasts a superior distillate yield compared to similar crudes.
As of the latest assessments, Unity Gold held a premium of $1.50 per barrel over the Latin Dated Brent strip, while Liza was evaluated at a $1.30 per barrel premium.
Kaieteur News previously reported the arrival of the FPSO vessel, Prosperity, in Guyana. This vessel is expected to generate approximately 220,000 barrels of oil per day during its initial phase and has been designed to store a total of two million barrels of oil. ExxonMobil Guyana announced the FPSO’s arrival in a brief media statement, expressing excitement about its contribution to Guyana’s energy future. The vessel was constructed by Dutch shipbuilder, SBM Offshore.
Presently, two FPSOs are operational in the Stabroek Block, including the Liza Destiny and Liza Unity. The Liza Destiny produced its first oil in December 2019, followed by the startup of Liza Two in February 2022 by the Liza Unity. Currently, the production rate stands at over 380,000 barrels per day. Exxon anticipates that the addition of the Prosperity vessel will boost daily production to around 600,000 barrels per day by 2024. The company stated, “Installation campaigns are ongoing and development drilling is underway to support Prosperity’s start-up later this year.”
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