Guyana offshore is like a ‘city lit up at night’ – Liam Mallon

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The Liza Destiny FPSO at the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana.

In just four years the deepwater off the coast of Guyana has seen a significant uptick in traffic with the ramp up of exploration in the prolific Stabroek Block and the preparation and start of the Liza Phase 1 Development project which has seen the South American country moving to oil producer status.

The crew of the Noble Bob Douglas, one of four drillships operating at the Stabroek Block, recently related to President of Upstream Oil and Gas at ExxonMobil, Liam Mallon, that radar shows a stunning transformation in marine traffic at the block.

Mallon visited Guyana last week to participate in first oil celebrations which coincided with the first oil lift over the weekend. During his stay, he visited the Noble Bob Douglas drillship.

“We were talking to the crew and they said what’s absolutely the most stunning thing to them is that four years ago when we looked at the radar we would see, maybe every now and again a ship go past. Now, it’s like a city lit up at night,” he said.

Mallon said it might be difficult for persons onshore to fully appreciate the transformation taking place 120 miles and more offshore, pointing out, “even for me, after 35 years of doing this, it’s an emotional event.”

The Noble Don Taylor is the most recent addition to the drillship fleet operating at Stabroek Block having arrived in November 2019. Mallon said about 20 other vessels are supporting drilling activities offshore.

Director of Guyana’s Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe, says potential exist for a 5th drillship to be operating at the 6.6 million acres Stabroek Block in coming months as the search for more oil continues and preparation for the second phase of the Liza development gets underway, with a third development at Payara awaiting approval.

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