S&P expects first Payara crude cargoes to load in November

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Guyana’s emerging Payara Gold crude is on schedule for its first official loading in November. This update is based on a program obtained by S&P Global Commodity Insights.

The said program schedules two 1-million-barrel cargoes of Payara to load in November. In addition, the program outlines plans for seven cargoes of Unity Gold crude and five of Liza. The first Payara cargo, slated for loading on Nov. 10-11, is marked as a combined lifting involving the Stabroek Block co-venturers – ExxonMobil, Hess, and China’s CNOOC. The second Payara cargo, set for Nov. 20-21, is designated to be lifted by Esso, a branch under ExxonMobil’s domain.

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S&P noted that ExxonMobil’s country manager, Alistair Routledge, confirmed the anticipation of Payara field’s production kickoff by year’s end, following the initiation of the Prosperity floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

Considering Guyana’s current production status of near 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) from two FPSOs, Payara’s introduction would augment the figures to 600,000 bpd, S&P stated.

On assessing the quality of the crudes, S&P noted that Payara stands out as the densest among the medium sweet crudes Guyana has yielded to date, as per the assessments on ExxonMobil’s website. Liza, the pioneer grade from the ExxonMobil-led consortium, registers as a 32 API crude, with approximately 0.58% sulfur content. Unity Gold, meanwhile, is rated as a 34.5 API crude, possessing 0.41% sulfur, based on a July 2023 assay. In contrast, Payara rates at 28 API and 0.58% sulfur.

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However, the market narrative surrounding Payara’s density is intriguing. It said an initial offer placed Payara at a 50 cents/b advantage over Unity Gold. Another perspective hypothesizes this premium might be a tactic by the joint venture associates to gauge market response or an indication of Payara’s superior distillate yield relative to similar crudes.

For context, S&P said Platts most recently assessed Unity Gold with a premium of $1.50/b compared to the Latin Dated Brent strip, with Liza trailing at a $1.30/b premium.

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