Cost estimate for Exxon’s Whiptail project slashed by US$200 million

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Kemol King
Kemol King is a journalist with six years of experience in Guyana's media landscape. He covers the oil & gas sector and its impact on the country's development.

ExxonMobil’s cost estimate for the Whiptail development, recently approved by the Guyana government, has been slashed by approximately US$200 million. The project is targeting production of 850 million barrels of oil at 250,000 barrels per day (b/d).

At the stage of submission of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the project in the second half of 2023, the document had indicated an estimated cost of US$12.933 billion. However, at project sanction, ExxonMobil Guyana said the project estimated cost was slashed to US$12.7 billion.

DevelopmentEstimated Cost (USD)Production (b/d)
Liza 13.5 billion160,000
Liza 26.0 billion250,000
Payara9.0 billion230,000
Yellowtail10.0 billion250,000
Uaru12.7 billion250,000
Whiptail12.7 billion250,000
TOTAL53.9 billion1,390,000
Table shows estimated costs of each Stabroek Block development

Exxon had also slashed development expense estimates for the Liza project, from an early US$4.4 billion to an eventual US$3.5 billion. The oil major, along with Stabroek Block partners Hess and CNOOC, had therefore saved approximately US$700 million on the first oil project’s development. 

The Exxon-led consortium has now committed almost US$54 billion in development costs alone to six projects in the Stabroek Block, aiming to produce more than 1.2 million b/d once Whiptail ramps up to its target production of 250,000 b/d. While current numbers show combined production offshore Guyana could produce almost 1.4 million b/d by 2027/2028, ExxonMobil intends to pursue production optimization which could take output closer to 1.5 million b/d

The Stabroek Block partners are also considering a seventh project

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