Guyana remains top priority in Exxon’s portfolio, company says in new update

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ExxonMobil said in an update on Wednesday that it plans to prioritize its investment in Guyana as well as Brazil, and the Permian Basin in the United States. The company’s corporate plans through 2027 will support its strategy of continued structural cost savings, investment in low-cost-of-supply and lower-emission products, and further portfolio high-grading.

“Projected growth of cash flow and earnings in the upstream business results from aggressive cost reductions and progressing advantaged investments in low-cost-of-supply projects in Guyana, Brazil, and the Permian Basin in the United States,” the oil major explained. “More than 90% of upstream planned capital investments through 2027 are expected to generate returns of greater than 10% at prices less than or equal to $35 per barrel of oil equivalent, while reducing Upstream GHG emissions intensity by 40-50% through 2030, compared to 2016 levels.”

As a result of oil investments in Guyana, over GY$400 billion (US$2 billion) have been plugged into the local economy and more than GY106 billion (US$534 million) have been received in oil revenue from exports and royalties. Additionally, ongoing investments by companies setting up operations in the country amount to hundreds of millions of US dollars.

Exxon is the operator of the prolific Stabroek Block where it has made well over 20 discoveries since 2015, amounting to approximately 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

The company said the new discoveries have increased confidence in the quality and size of the resource and supports the potential for up to ten floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) facilities on the block. Exploration, appraisal, and development drilling continue, with a total of six drillships now operating offshore Guyana.

Guyana’s natural resources minister, Vickram Bharrat, says in the next four to five years the country will be on its way to becoming the “mini-Dubai” of the Caribbean with multiple FPSOs providing considerable production volumes and revenue take.

High-return developments in the South American country remain on schedule, with Liza Phase Two on target for 2022 startup, Payara targeting 2024 and Yellowtail scheduled for 2025. The Yellowtail development is pending approval by the government, and in October, the Liza Unity FPSO arrived in Guyana following its voyage from Singapore.

Meanwhile, Exxon shared that it plans to maintain capital investments in the range of $20-$25 billion per year through 2027 with the flexibility to adjust to adverse market conditions or changes in policy and technology for low-emissions projects.

“The restored strength of our balance sheet and improved financial outlook support accelerating investment in our industry-advantaged, high-return projects, and a growing list of financially accretive lower-emission business opportunities,” said Darren Woods, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

“Our strategy is designed to create shareholder value by leveraging our competitive advantages while maintaining flexibility to respond to future policy changes and technology advances associated with the energy transition” Woods added.

Downstream and chemical earnings and cash flow growth plans are focused on high-return projects, which are expected to double the volume of valuable performance chemicals and lower-emission fuels and lubricants. The company will leverage its industry-leading manufacturing scale, integration, and technology position to high-grade its portfolio and reduce costs while optimizing operations and leveraging the capabilities of the Low Carbon Solutions business to reduce greenhouse gas emission intensity at operated facilities.

Increased cash flow and earnings enable both further debt reduction and returns to shareholders. To date in 2021, the company has repaid $11 billion in debt and expects to be comfortably within the range of its targeted debt–to-capital ratio of 20-25% by year-end. It has also announced a $10 billion share-repurchase program over 12-24 months that will commence in 2022, and it increased its annual dividend payment for the 39th consecutive year.

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