FPSO Prosperity; Source: Keppel Offshore & Marine

ExxonMobil flows oil from third project offshore Guyana as FPSO comes online ahead of schedule

U.S.-headquartered energy giant ExxonMobil has started production from its third oil development at the Stabroek block offshore Guyana, boosting total production capacity in the country to approximately 620,000 barrels per day.

FPSO Prosperity; Source: Keppel Offshore & Marine

ExxonMobil made a final investment decision to proceed with the Payara field development, Guyana’s third offshore oil development on the Stabroek block, at the end of September 2020, after receiving government approvals. The $9 billion development began production on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, with the start-up of the oil major’s third FPSO, Prosperity, which was put into operation ahead of schedule.

Liam Mallon, president of ExxonMobil Upstream Company, commented: “Each new project supports economic development and access to resources that will benefit Guyanese communities while also helping to meet the world’s energy demand. We’re pleased to work in partnership with the Guyanese government to make reliable energy accessible and sustainable.”

The hull for the FPSO Prosperity arrived at the Keppel yard in Singapore in mid-August and entered the drydock in October 2021. The vessel left the dry dock and moved to the quayside in April 2022 for the topsides integration phase. SBM Offshore confirmed later that same month that the first series of the topsides module lifting for the FPSO had started and shared a video. The naming ceremony for the vessel was held in February 2023 at Keppel Shipyard.

The vessel is expected to reach initial production of approximately 220,000 barrels per day over the first half of next year as new wells come online, bringing the U.S. giant closer to reaching a combined production capacity of more than 1.2 million barrels per day on the block by year-end 2027.

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The FPSO Prosperity joins the Liza Unity vessel as two of the world’s first FPSOs to be awarded the SUSTAIN-1 notation by the American Bureau of Shipping in recognition of the sustainability of its design, documentation, and operational procedures. ExxonMobil underlines that its Guyana developments are generating around 30% lower greenhouse gas intensity than the average of its upstream portfolio.

According to the independent research firm Rystad Energy, these developments are also among the best performing in the world with respect to emissions intensity, outpacing 75% of global oil and gas-producing assets. ExxonMobil highlights that around 6,000 Guyanese are now supporting its activities in Guyana, representing more than two-thirds of the local oil and gas workforce.

Moreover, the U.S. player and its direct contractors have spent over $1.2 billion with more than 1,500 Guyanese suppliers since operations began in 2015, but the first production did not start until December 2019. The Prosperity FPSO arrived in Guyana in April 2023 and is moored in a water depth of about 6,300 feet. The vessel will develop an estimated resource base of more than 600 million barrels of oil.

The Stabroek block covers 6.6 million acres. The Liza Phase 1 and Phase 2 developments began production in December 2019 and February 2022, respectively. Yellowtail and Uaru, the fourth and fifth projects, are in progress and will each produce approximately 250,000 barrels of oil per day. ExxonMobil is working with the government of Guyana to secure regulatory approvals for a sixth project at Whiptail.

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John Hess, Hess Corporation’s CEO, remarked: “We are proud to be a partner in the successful development of this world-class oil resource for the benefit of the people of Guyana and all other stakeholders and congratulate ExxonMobil as operator for outstanding project execution. The world will need these low-cost oil resources to meet future energy demand and help ensure an affordable, just and secure energy transition.”

The oil major anticipates six FPSOs will operate on the Stabroek block by year-end 2027, with the potential for up to ten FPSOs to develop the estimated gross discovered recoverable resources of more than 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

ExxonMobil Guyana Limited operates the block and holds 45% interest while its partners, Hess Guyana Exploration and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, hold 30% and 25% interest, respectively.