Saipem Constellation vessel

Saipem gearing up for ExxonMobil’s Payara job

Italian oilfield contractor Saipem has recently received the authorization to proceed with the final phase of the Payara development project in Guyana from the project operator ExxonMobil.

Saipem Constellation vessel; Source: Saipem

Saipem has been working in this country for the last three years, starting with the award of the Liza phase 1 contract.

Saipem said on Monday that this authorization allows for the finalization of the detailed engineering and procurement activities and the full execution of the contract scope.

The Payara field is located in the Stabroek block offshore Guyana at a water depth of around 2,000 meters.

Saipem was awarded the engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of subsea flowlines, umbilicals and risers (SURF) in 2017 and 2018 respectively for Liza phases 1 and 2 offshore Guyana.

The Payara development will connect 41 wells in total, including production, water injection and gas injection wells.

In November 2019, Saipem announced the contract award of the Payara subsea development project by ExxonMobil, subject to final investment decision (FID), for the detailed engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of a large subsea production facility.

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In accordance with the contract, while awaiting project sanction, Saipem was authorized to start initial activities, namely detailed engineering and procurement of the long lead items.

During this initial phase, Saipem said that its engineers also delivered design optimizations, which are generating additional value to the project, despite the impacts and restrictions due to COVID-19 and challenging market conditions.  

Saipem’s flagship vessels Saipem FDS2 and Saipem Constellation will perform the offshore installation while a soon-to-be completed construction yard in Guyana will take on the local fabrication of part of the subsea items.

The facility will feature a heavy load-bearing jetty, the largest heavy lift crane in Guyana and specialized welding and testing equipment.

All construction work for the new facility has been awarded to local Guyanese contractors.

Furthermore, Saipem has started a recruitment campaign targeting local Guyanese for offshore works who will then be sent on board the FDS2 for training and work.

ExxonMobil made its final investment decision to proceed with the Payara field offshore development at the end of September 2020 after receiving government approvals.

The $9 billion development will target an estimated resource base of about 600 million oil-equivalent barrels.

The field is expected to start up in 2024, using the Prosperity floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

Following the project FID, Dutch FPSO provider SBM Offshore confirmed the award of contracts for the next phase of the Payara development project.

SBM Offshore will construct, install, and then lease and operate the Prosperity FPSO for a period of up to two years.

After this, the FPSO ownership and operation will transfer to the operator of the block, ExxonMobil.