Exxon’s 6th Guyana project targeting Whiptail, Pinktail, Tilapia fields

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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 sixth Guyana project proposed for the Stabroek Block will develop the Whiptail, Pinktail and Tilapia discoveries, according to a project summary from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Rystad Energy’s 2022 benchmarking update on Guyana estimates that these reservoirs have 315 million, 269 million and 450 million barrels of oil-equivalent resources. That gives the Whiptail Development Project, as it is being called, approximately a billion barrels of oil-equivalent resources to produce.

Exxon said it may add more resources to the project if it is determined to be feasible and economically viable.

Whiptail will target 40-65 development wells, with production levels expected between 220,000 and 275,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd). A floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel will be used to produce the crude, with two million barrels of oil storage capacity. The project will offload crude to a tanker, every three to six days during peak production.

ExxonMobil has signed a memorandum of understanding with SBM Offshore, for construction of a multi-purpose floater hull.

First oil is expected between the fourth quarter of 2027 and the second quarter of 2028, for at least 20 years.

The project’s gas production capacity will be between 400 million and 640 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mscfd). ExxonMobil does not plan to export the gas. It has proposed using some for fuel for the project, then reinjecting the rest to maintain reservoir pressure and improve oil recovery.

Produced water will also be extracted between 150,000 and 295,000 bpd, to be treated and discharged overboard, consistent with good international industry practice.

More than 1,400 persons are expected to benefit from direct employment over the life cycle of this project.

Exxon said the Whiptail Project will contribute positively, directly and indirectly, to economic growth in Guyana, including increased national revenues, local procurement of select goods and services, increased direct and indirect local employment opportunities which drive associated beneficial “multiplier” impacts throughout the local economy.

The EPA has directed Exxon to conduct an environmental impact assessment (EIA) as part of the authorisation process. Exxon said a cumulative impact assessment will be performed as part of the Whiptail assessment of impacts.

Exxon is also seeking approval for a fifth project, the Uaru development.

Whiptail is the last project on Exxon’s goal of six projects online by 2027 in the Stabroek Block. While the goal for this milestone was 1.2 million bpd, Whiptail will take production capacity over 1.3 million bpd.

Beyond 2027, Stabroek Block co-venturer Hess has revealed that the Fangtooth reservoir is being considered for a seventh project.

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