Guyana oil production peaked at 589,000 b/d in December 2023 

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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.

The Stabroek block in Guyana produced 589,000 barrels on December 26, 2023 from three projects – Liza 1 (155,000 barrels), Liza 2 (253,000 barrels), and Payara (181,000 barrels). 

This marks the highest total production from the Stabroek block, thanks to first oil at the Payara project in November. Payara’s ramp-up to its initial capacity of 220,000 barrels per day (b/d) is beating expectations, having peaked at 186,000 barrels on December 29 – less than two months from its November 14 start date. Payara delivered five lifts for export from 2023 production. 

ExxonMobil said the Prosperity floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel achieved background flare in early January.

With higher production, most lifts from the Payara project are likely to end up in Europe, given the preference of some refineries there for its higher distillate yield. According to S&P Global Commodity Insights, Payara Gold may very well edge out the other Guyana crudes in pricing because it is coveted in Europe. 

Data from the Ministry of Natural Resources shows Guyana produced 16.4 million barrels in December, compared to production ranging from 10.5 to 12.5 million barrels for each of the other 11 months of 2023. December production averaged 530,000 b/d. Disaggregated, this amounts to 151,000 b/d from Liza 1, 249,000 b/d from Liza 2, and 130,000 b/d from Payara. 

Production at Stabroek continues to increase. With 41% growth in production in 2023, the Guyana government has projected another 41% jump in 2024, as the Prosperity FPSO hits capacity in the first quarter and stabilizes throughout the year. There may also be an opportunity for production optimization beyond 220,000 b/d, as has been done with the Liza projects. 

With the start-up of Nigeria’s Dangote refinery in January, Guyana’s crudes will have the opportunity to fill the vacuum the facility will create as it diverts Nigerian crude away from the market. 

All the FPSOs currently in operation offshore Guyana, capable of producing 620,000 b/d, have been built by Dutch floater specialist, SBM Offshore. ExxonMobil has a 45% operating stake in the Stabroek block, while Hess has a 30% stake and China’s CNOOC has a 25% stake.

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