Hess’ Guyana output now on par with its leading Bakken asset

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Growing oil production offshore Guyana is taking even more prominence in the portfolios of the Stabroek Block co-venturers, with Hess’ net Guyana production now being on par with output at its traditionally leading Bakken Shale operations in North Dakota.

The company’s first-quarter earnings report showed its net oil production in Guyana was 190,000 barrels per day (b/d), while its Bakken net hydrocarbon production was 190,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d). With 418,000 boe/d total production reported by Hess for the first quarter, Guyana and the Bakken each represented 45% of production, with the remainder coming from operations in the Gulf of Mexico and Southeast Asia.

The Bakken was higher than Guyana at 163,000 boe/d in the prior year’s first quarter. However, after the Payara project started production offshore Guyana in November, Hess’ net production in the South American country jumped 70% from 112,000 b/d year-on-year.  

Hess discovered oil in the Bakken in the 1950s and, as one of the largest producers there, has made that jurisdiction a facet of its operations. The Bakken produced 182,000 boe/d net for Hess in 2023, up from 154,000 boe/d, Hess said in its annual report. The company expects Bakken production to hit a plateau of 200,000 boe/d in 2024 and remain that way for a decade, Chief Operating Officer Greg Hill said last year.

Exxon discovered oil offshore Guyana in 2015 and started producing in 2019. Three floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels have been added to the Stabroek Block. With a fourth expected in 2025, Hess’ net production in Guyana would make Guyana its top-producing asset. Exxon will add the ONE GUYANA FPSO, which will produce 250,000 b/d, adding net output of approximately 75,000 b/d for Hess. Production optimization and stabilization at Payara is also expected to add some net barrels for Hess. 

Given arbitration between the Stabroek Block partners and Chevron over Hess’ 30% stake, Chevron’s planned acquisition of Hess is likely to be delayed to 2025. 

Whatever the outcome, the upward trek in Guyana production beyond 2025 would add another 150,000 b/d in net production for the owner of that 30% stake. This will come with the addition of the Errea Wittu and Jaguar FPSOs in 2026 and 2027. 

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