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First Lady Arya Ali is ‘Godmother’ of Guyana’s 2nd oil production vessel

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First Lady of Guyana, Arya Ali, officially dedicated the Liza Unity Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel at a ceremony held at the Cara Lodge Hotel on Saturday, June 12, in the country’s capital, Georgetown. The vessel is currently in Singapore and is expected to set sail for Guyana shortly.

Mrs. Ali’s dedication follows a tradition of the FPSOs having a Godmother who bestows luck and protection over the vessel and crew during its journey.

In her remarks, Mrs. Ali said the occasion marks an exciting and important milestone for the country as it embarks on its second major offshore oil development project made possible by the work of a diverse group of people across the world.

“I could not pass on an opportunity to be part of this historic undertaking having recognized the important role this vessel and others like it will play in Guyana’s development,” the First Lady said. “Of course, this will materialize in the form of local content growth, meaning more jobs for Guyanese and opportunities for local businesses.”

Mrs. Ali said the second development – Liza Phase 2 – also means increased revenues for the country which when prudently managed, will help the new oil producing nation to achieve the many aspirational goals outlined by the government.

“Since becoming First Lady, I have tasked myself with the responsibility of improving the welfare of the most vulnerable groups in our population. Though there isn’t a singular approach or a quick fix to many of the difficulties they face, I am fervent in my belief that one of the starting points of poverty reduction and increased economic opportunities, is national unity,” Mrs. Ali stated. She said the name of the vessel – Liza Unity – is very appropriate since like her signature initiative – One Guyana – it will deliver significant benefits to Guyanese.

President of ExxonMobil Guyana, Alistair Routledge reminded that it was just six years ago the company discovered the Liza field and already, the second FPSO is about to set sail to Guyana.

“We’re blessed to discover a really significant field with multiple reservoirs. So, that enabled us to do the development in two phases,” he said, referencing the Liza Phase 1 start up in December 2019 just over four years after the first discovery, which he said was quite a “remarkable and industry record-setting achievement.”

He said Exxon was happy to also partner with Dutch floater specialist SBM Offshore for the Liza Unity, which is twice the size and capacity of the first vessel – Liza Destiny.

General Manager of SBM Offshore’s Guyana operations, Francesco Prazzo (L) and Operations Manager, Didier Abbo, hand over token to First Lady, Arya Ali, at the Liza Unity FPSO dedication ceremony on June 12 in Georgetown, Guyana.

“It’s taken truly a global effort across many countries across the world. Thousands of people involved in the construction of this project. The design and engineering and the preparation for it to set sail,” Mr. Routledge said, pointing out that some of this work took place in the height of the challenges the world has faced over the past 18 months.

“ExxonMobil and its partners, CNOOC and Hess are absolutely committed to the responsible development of Guyana’s resource,” he said. “That means doing it safely with full protection of the environment. But is also means ensuring that we build local content in the country. These projects are Guyanese projects developing Guyanese resource.”

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickarm Bharrat, said government sees the development of the country’s offshore resources as a partnership with oil and gas companies that would serve to accelerate Guyana’s economic development.

“As government we are the regulators, but we see you as a partner to our development and we see you as a partner that would bring benefits to every single Guyanese through our local content policy,” he said. “We are still in the stage of finalising our local content policy and we’ve already seen the efforts that are being made by ExxonMobil and others to ensure that local content takes precedence.”

The hull for the Liza Unity FPSO was built by Chinese shipyard Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding. It is based on SBM Offshore’s Fast4Ward programme, and it is the first FPSO to incorporate the company’s “design one, build many” approach. The topside modules were constructed and added to the hull by Keppel at their shipyard in Singapore.

The vessel has a production target of 220,000 barrels of oil per day and an overall storage volume of up 2 million barrels.

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