Exxon to pursue optimization of Payara to 250,000 b/d – Chapman

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Neil Chapman, Senior Vice President at ExxonMobil, said the company will pursue debottlenecking of the Payara project infrastructure with an expectation to achieve oil production of 250,000 barrels per day (b/d). He commented during a March 6 ‘fireside chat’ at Morgan Stanley’s Energy & Power Conference.

ExxonMobil has benefited from learnings with its other floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels operational in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. The first, the Liza Destiny, was added with an initial target of 120,000 b/d, but eventually optimized to demonstrate production of 160,000 b/d.

“We put the second boat [Liza Unity] out there, which is close to double the size, 220[000], and we’re consistently getting 250,000 barrels a day through the boat,” Chapman stated. 

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He added that Payara, which started up in November, reached its 220,000 b/d target faster than Exxon’s planning basis. While Exxon has not pushed the capacity of the FPSO, named Prosperity, Chapman said he continues to check in with project teams about whether the optimization successes from the operational FPSOs are repeatable. He said finding ways to get more value out of assets is what ExxonMobil is used to doing, as it would in refining. 

“I can’t guarantee this boat will produce 250,000 barrels a day, but certainly, we put an expectation on the organization to do that, and we ask them to continuously look for value-added ways to cheaply debottleneck… and that will be the same for the Yellowtail, Uaru, and Whiptail – the next three boats…” Chapman said.

The latter three boats Chapman mentioned will each initially target 250,000 b/d. While the initial targets of each of the six FPSOs lined up by Exxon for Guyana add up to 1.31 million b/d, optimization can take combined production close to 1.5 million b/d. Current production is just over 600,000 b/d.


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