Given the industry-leading rate of discoveries in the Stabroek Block, there may be a need for more than 10 floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels to take off the resources. This was confirmed by Hess Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), John Hess.
During his participation at the 51st Annual Scotia Howard Weil Energy Conference on March 8, the CEO was asked to say if the initial projection of 10 FPSOs is conservative, especially when a number of factors are considered. For greater perspective, it was noted by moderating officials that 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources were uncovered in the block with the addition of 10 discoveries last year. Assuming those discoveries take the resource base to a modest 12 billion barrels, it therefore means more ships could be needed.
Another significant point of interest is that ExxonMobil’s four sanctioned projects along with two in the pipeline for regulatory review and approval, only take off about 4.9 billion barrels. This leaves 7.1 billion barrels for off-take by four ships. Importantly, this resource base could grow even further as ExxonMobil Guyana is pursuing a 35-multi-well exploration and appraisal programme in the Stabroek Block.
With the foregoing factors in play, Hess said, “There is definitely potential for the discovered resource to go up and for the 10 FPSO number to go up.”
He also said it is important for the market to understand that Exxon is matching exceptional operational performance with reservoir monitoring. In this regard, he noted that there are two FPSOs, the Liza Destiny and Liza Unity which are currently producing in the range of 400,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd). He noted as well that this production level is beyond the nameplate capacity for the ships too.
Hess noted that the original capacity for the Liza Destiny was 120,000 bpd but it is now over 150,000 bpd. “That is a combination of debottlenecking and excellent reservoir release. The second ship at Liza Two is producing 220,000 bpd and that has touched 250,000 bpd and again, that is superior reservoir release and there will be debottlenecking to sustain the 250,000 bpd,” Hess said.
He noted that Prosperity, the third FPSO to be stationed at Payara, has left the shipyard with first oil expected this year. As for the Yellowtail’s ONE GUYANA FPSO, he said it should come on in 2025.
As more appraisal is work is done, he said the partners will be in a better position to define ships eight, nine and 10.