Despite criticism about the fiscal terms of the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) between Guyana and ExxonMobil, the deal has paved the way for rapid development of the vast hydrocarbon resources found off the country’s coast.
Following the announcement of massive oil deposits at Liza 1 in May of 2015, just seven years later, Exxon has already made over 30 discoveries, sanctioned four projects with a fifth development now under review, and has plans for a total of 10 floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels.
The Liza Phase 1 development is approximately 190 kilometers offshore in water depths of 1,500– 1,900 meters. The project includes the FPSO Liza Destiny which is producing around 140,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), with storage capacity of up to 1.6 million barrels. There are four drill centers with 17 wells in total: eight oil producing wells, six water injection wells, and three gas reinjection wells.
The Liza Phase 2 development involves a second FPSO – Liza Unity. Production at Liza Phase 2 began on February 11, 2022, targeting up to 220,000 bpd later this year. The development is similar to that of Liza Phase 1 but with a total of six drill centers: 30 wells, including 15 oil producing wells, nine water injection wells and six gas injection wells.
The Payara development plan includes a third FPSO – Prosperity. The project will target around 220,000 bpd. With 10 drill centers, this project will develop the Payara and Pacora resources. There are 41 wells are planned, including 20 production, and 21 water and gas injection wells. Startup is expected in 2023.
The Yellowtail development involves a fourth FPSO – ONE GUYANA. The largest sanctioned project to date will target approximately 250,000 bpd. Six drill centers are planned, targeting the Yellowtail and Redtail resources with 51 wells; 26 production and 25 water and gas injection wells. Production is expected to begin in 2025.
Now in the planning stage, the Uaru Development, when approved, will be Exxon’s largest project to date with production capacity of around 275,000 bpd. The project will be in the eastern portion of the Stabroek Block, approximately 200km from Port Georgetown, and will produce hydrocarbons from the Uaru and Mako reservoirs. First oil is being targeted as early as the fourth quarter of 2026.
Uaru will take accumulated oil production capacity in the Stabroek Block to over 1.1 million bpd, making Guyana the second largest oil producer in South America.
President of ExxonMobil Guyana, Alistair Routledge has described the pace of development in the South American country as ‘unprecedented’.
“We invest with a 20–30-year time horizon. It’s incredibly difficult to make any future decisions if you feel that the terms are constantly going to be changed,” Routledge has said.
Guyana 5, Suriname 0
Meanwhile in Suriname, despite five discoveries at its most prolific license – Block 58 – since 2020, no final investment decision (FID) has yet been made for developing the resources.
TotalEnergies, operator at Block 58, has said results from appraisal campaigns will guide FID.
“We do not know what the future would be. We are in [the] exploration and appraisal [phase] with some risky wells. So, we are waiting,” TotalEnergies Managing Director, Philippe Blanchard told OilNOW in June. “In the past, we have had bad news – two bad wells when we were expecting good results. So, it would be very difficult to say now.”
Block 58’s five discoveries are at Maka Central, Kwaskwasi, Sapakara, Keskesi and Krabdagu. Kwaskwasi has been called a giant in the Guyana-Suriname basin, with analysts comparing it to Exxon’s Liza find in the Stabroek Block.
When Suriname will celebrate the sanctioning of its first offshore development in history, while seemingly imminent, remains unknown. Meanwhile, Exxon is forging ahead in Guyana with the support of the government which is looking to bring in revenues as fast as possible, in furtherance of its massive development goals.