Guyana will be one of the most successful deepwater developments in history – Exxon CEO

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ExxonMobil’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of the Board, Darren Woods, hailed Guyana’s oil story as one that will be well remembered in the history of the oil and gas sector. “I believe Guyana will go down as one of the most successful deepwater developments in the history of the industry,” Woods told investors during the company’s 2024 first-quarter earnings call.

Woods said Exxon has created tremendous value in Guyana as operator of the Stabroek Block, “the world’s most premier deepwater development”

He outlined that production started in 2019, ramping up to more than 600,000 barrels per day (b/d) in the first quarter. This was owed to the start-up of the Prosperity floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, which Wood said was done ahead of schedule and below cost. 

The Payara project reached its target production of 220,000 barrels per day (b/d) in January. Woods said this was two months after start-up and well ahead of the industry average of 15-months. He noted that the company continuously looks for debottlenecking opportunities to increase production. 

“All three FPSOs are now producing above their funding basis, helping to drive record gross production in the first quarter, all with an emissions intensity amongst the lowest in our Upstream portfolio,” Wood stated. 

ExxonMobil has three more development projects, slated to begin production in 2025, 2026, and 2027. Each project will add production of 250,000 b/d, taking total oil production offshore Guyana to more than 1.3 million b/d.

Woods said that Exxon’s work in Guyana delivers tangible benefits for the Guyanese people, including driving the highest growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) in the world. He also expressed that the oil and gas industry directly supports thousands of local suppliers and Guyanese workers.

ExxonMobil is also supporting a Gas-to-Energy project, which Woods said has the potential to significantly increase reliability and reduce both the cost of electricity and its greenhouse gas emissions.

The Exxon CEO also defended Exxon’s recent action to file arbitration proceedings at the International Chamber of Commerce in London, in relation to Chevron’s plan to acquire Hess Corporation

“We believe the proposed Chevron/Hess transaction, in ignoring pre-emption rights triggered by a change in control, diminishes an element of value due ExxonMobil. We believe it is critical to defend these rights and fully preserve the value we‘ve created,” Wood stated. 

Arbitration, Woods added, will allow Exxon to fully evaluate options to maximize the value to the company and its shareholders. 

Exxon and CNOOC have merged their claims at the London Chamber. The case could delay Chevron’s acquisition of Hess to 2025. 

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