Approval for ExxonMobil’s 3rd development project at the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana remains stalled due to what the country’s Department of Energy (DE) has described as recent ‘national and international events’.
The spread of the novel coronavirus and an election in Guyana held on March 2 for which no final results have yet been decided, are both playing a role in project delays in the new oil producing country.
The Payara Development, which is targeting 180,000 to 220,000 barrels of oil per day, was expected to be approved by the end of Q1 2020.
Bayphase Geologists, Engineers and Investment Analysts Limited was awarded a contract last December to review the Field Development Plan (FDP) for the project.
DE Director Dr. Mark Bynoe told reporters in February the Department was aiming to be able to recommend a position to President David Granger on the FDP by March 2020.
Responding to queries from OilNOW on the status of this recommendation, Dr. Bynoe said it is currently being evaluated.
“In view of recent national and international events, the recommendation to His Excellency President David A. Granger, Minister with responsibility for the Petroleum Sector on the Payara Development, remains under evaluation,” he said in an email response on April 8.
The Government of Guyana, Dr. Bynoe stated, continues to engage ExxonMobil on the process that is being pursued.
The US oil major said last week that the company is awaiting government approval to proceed with a third production vessel for the Payara development. This project will follow the Liza Phase 1 and 2 developments. Liza Phase 1 is already producing oil utilizing the 120,000 barrels per day Liza Destiny FPSO and phase 2 will see production capacity doubling with the use of the Liza Unity FPSO which is currently under construction in Singapore.
Meanwhile, ExxonMobil is also looking to move ahead with its Hammerhead Development Project which would be its fourth at the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. The project, which will have the capacity to produce up to 190,000 barrels of oil per day, is currently in the initial stage of planning and design.
The company expects to be producing around 750,000 barrels of oil per day in Guyana by 2025.