Guyana oil production could reach almost 1.5 million bpd by 2027

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Although ExxonMobil has said it is targeting 1.2 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) by 2027 at the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, this output could actually edge closer to 1.5 million bpd based on current trends, and projections for optimization.

The Liza 1 project started production in December 2019 with an initial output of 120,000 b/d. Through optimization efforts, production has increased to as much as 160,000 b/d. Following this, the Liza 2 project commenced production in February 2022, initially reaching a target of 220,000 b/d, but after optimization, it now produces 250,000 b/d. The third project, Payara, started in November 2023 and has quickly achieved initial production of 220,000 b/d. According to Exxon’s Production Manager, Huzefa Ali, it even demonstrated production of 230,000 b/d recently. These first three projects are now producing at a combined rate of just over 640,000 b/d.

Production expansion is expected to continue with two more approved projects: Yellowtail and Uaru, each targeting 250,000 b/d to the production total. Yellowtail is on schedule for a 2025 start-up, and Uaru in 2026. Together they will add around 500,000 b/d to Guyana’s oil output. Furthermore, the Whiptail project, currently under review by the Guyana government, is expected to come online in 2027 with a similar capacity, boosting the combined additional production to 750,000 b/d.

This brings the anticipated total production to 1.39 million barrels per day by 2027, already surpassing the initial target. With ExxonMobil’s partner, Hess, indicating the potential for a 10% optimization in production for these projects, the total output could edge closer to 1.5 million b/d, exceeding the original target by more than 200,000 b/d.

Table shows production details for each Stabroek block project

Alongside oil production, the Gas-to-Energy project, a collaboration between Guyana and ExxonMobil, plans to use natural gas from the Liza 1 and Liza 2 projects at an initial rate of about 50 million cubic feet per day. Although this project, set to commence operations in 2025, may lead to a decrease in oil recovery at the Liza projects, the overall production offshore Guyana by 2027 is still likely to be well over 1.4 million b/d. 

ExxonMobil operates the Stabroek block with a 45% stake, while Hess has 30% and CNOOC has 25%. The collective expenditure to develop these six projects is estimated to be US$54 billion. A seventh project is expected to be proposed in 2024, but the project specifics are yet to be defined.

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