Guyana’s move towards becoming one of the top oil producers in the western hemisphere is likely to be realized even before the decade comes to an end as plans to develop its multi-billion-barrel oil fields move full steam ahead. The country’s 2020 population was estimated at 786,552 people according to UN data. By 2026, it could be producing more oil per day than the total of its entire population.
ExxonMobil, operator at the prolific Stabroek block, is already producing oil at the 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) Liza Phase 1 Development and this will be followed by Liza Phase 2 (220,000 bpd) and Payara (220,000 bpd) in 2022 and 2024, respectively. The company will also submit a plan for its fourth development at Stabroek block – likely in the Yellowtail-Redtail area – to Guyanese authorities by year-end.
The Yellowtail area contains oily fluids similar to those of the Liza discovery made back in 2015 and Exxon is conducting additional tests to get more production information about the quality of the reservoirs found there.
“We plan to submit a development plan to the Government of Guyana before the end of this year,” ExxonMobil’s Senior Vice President of Upstream, Neil Chapman recently told investors. “Looking out even further, we would anticipate having two additional FPSOs online by 2027, with a total capacity of more than one million barrels of oil per day.”
Norway-based Rystad Energy said in a new report published on Friday that Exxon and Stabroek block co-venturers Hess and CNOOC plan to deploy an additional four floating production, storage and offloading units (FPSOs) to develop the existing resources within the block.
“However, the supermajor is expected to ramp up drilling activities, as it plans to have at least five FPSOs online by 2026. Success at this year’s Mako-2 and Uaru-2 wells on the Stabroek block could potentially firm up the Mako/Uaru area as a candidate for the next FPSO location,” Rystad Energy said.
Meanwhile, on the Canje block, plans are in place to drill two wells this year in addition to the uncommercial Bulletwood-1 find, with the Jabillo well already in progress.
“Looking at the metric of offshore oil barrels per capita for countries across the world, what we see is Guyana ranks highest in terms of this metric,” Sonya Boodoo, Senior Analyst at Rystad Energy, said in a previous study.
To date more than 9 billion barrels of oil equivalent have been found at Stabroek block and Exxon has said the resource potential of the basin could be more than double these discoveries.
“The giant oil fields will deliver untold riches to this nation of only 0.8 million people,” consultancy group Wood Mackenzie has said. “Production per capita will eclipse even that of the leading Middle East producers, Kuwait, UAE and Saudi Arabia.”