Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Exxon confident in performance of gas compressor on new Guyana FPSO

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Guyana’s largest floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel arrived offshore this week for oil production activities at the ExxonMobil-operated Stabroek Block. The U.S. oil major says it is confident that the equipment on the SBM Offshore built and operated vessel will meet its expectations.

“We recognize the challenges that we had with Destiny’s startup and the flash gas compressor,” said Mike Ryan, Production Manager at ExxonMobil Guyana, referring to the first FPSO currently producing oil at the Liza field.

“We’re committed and working hard to be successful in the Unity startup,” he said, adding, “The flash gas compressor is a different design on Unity, and we have confidence in this equipment that we’re going to be able to bring it up and meet our expectations.”

The Liza Unity FPSO is the first vessel to be built and delivered by SBM Offshore using its pioneering Fast4Ward® program. The Liza Destiny, delivered by the Dutch floater specialist in 2019, was built from a converted tanker while the Unity is a new fabrication and design hull.

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Ryan explained that Unity’s topsides weight is 27,000 metric tons, 11,000 metric tons more than Destiny.

“The physical size of the floating structure is not that much bigger, but Unity is not shaped like a tanker, it’s a little bit squarer on the sides and longer. So, it’s a few meters wider, a few meters longer, but because of the design we could put more equipment on the top sides,” he explained.

Through that equipment the Unity FPSO will produce more oil and inject more gas.

“So, the oil production is over 200,000 barrels a day versus Destiny’s 100 to 120 range,” he said. “So, it’s a little bit more capacity, but the design itself is somewhat similar from a production operations perspective. We’ve made a lot of improvements and changes, lessons learned from Destiny but also as we understand, and we learn more and more about the reservoir.”

Liza Unity floater will push Guyana’s total oil production to 340,000 bpd by 2022

The vessel will be spread moored in water depth of about 1,600 meters and will be able to store around 2 million barrels of crude oil. Installation activities have been ongoing, and Ryan said all the connections are now in place and ready for hook up to the FPSO.

“So, that’s an activity that is going to take weeks. The challenge now is that we’re into the late part of the year. The weather offshore can be challenging and so we’re going to do it safely,” he assured.

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