Exxon hikes capacity at Liza Destiny, schedules Payara for early startup

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In addition to the announcement of three new discoveries on Tuesday, ExxonMobil Guyana bore more good news with its hiking of production capacity at Liza Phase One and scheduled first oil for the Payara project.

Liza Phase One

The company increased the capacity of the Liza Destiny floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel to produce oil at 140,000 barrels per day, a 17% increase, Hess said.

The vessel was originally designed to produce at nameplate capacity of 120,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd), but the increase was managed due to optimisation activities conducted during the last quarter. Chief Executive Officer at Hess, John Hess, had announced this activity during the 50th Annual Scotia Howard Weil Energy Conference in March.

Recent statements from co-venturers, ExxonMobil and Hess, indicate that the Liza Destiny is currently producing at 130,000 barrels per day.

Hess said in its 2022 first quarter earnings report that the Destiny is expected to reach its full capacity in the second quarter.

All Stabroek Block co-venturers and the Guyana government can now expect quicker lifts from the Liza Phase One operation. Guyana’s projected US$957 million oil revenue earnings for 2022 is expected to be boosted by this increased capacity, as well as the high oil price situation caused mainly by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A 10-20% capacity for debottlenecking of each FPSO is a reasonable expectation, Hess’ Chief Operations Officer Greg Hill had said during Hess’ 2021 Q3 earnings call.


In a press statement Tuesday, Exxon said the Payara project start-up is likely before yearend 2023.

This was attributed to construction of the Prosperity FPSO, to be used for the project, running approximately five months ahead of schedule.

Last week, SBM Offshore, the Dutch offshore solutions provider building Guyana’s FPSOs, indicated that the first series of topside modules were lifted onto the hull of the vessel, at Keppel Shipyard, Singapore.

ExxonMobil had originally intended to bring Payara on stream in 2023, but delays owed to the five-month electoral impasse of 2020 pushed the estimate scheduled date for first oil to 2024, when the new government finally approved it late 2020.

The Prosperity FPSO, like Liza Unity, is designed to produce 220,000 barrels of oil per day. The US$9 billion development targets 600 million oil-equivalent barrels.

It will be ExxonMobil’s third project in the prolific Stabroek Block, and will take total combined production capacity to 580,000 barrels per day.


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