ExxonMobil’s Whiptail project sets sights on 72 wells to propel oil output surge

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ExxonMobil’s Whiptail project is slated to target up to 72 wells to develop the fields.

This was outlined in the Whiptail Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) submitted to Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for review and approval, on August 20. 

“…EEPGL has identified the presence of multiple reservoirs of crude oil with an estimated recoverable resource of approximately 1.75 billion cubic meters (m3) of oil-equivalent resources in the eastern half of the Stabroek Block,” the EIA outlined. 

With it completed, there is now a 60-day period for perusal of the 3,600+ page document by the public where they can make written submissions, citing any concerns they may have. 

The Whiptail development will be located 195 kilometers northeast of Guyana’s capital Georgetown. Along with the 72 wells being drilled (including production, water, and gas injection wells), the project also entails installing and operating subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines, a floating production vessel, and decommissioning. 

Onshore logistical support facilities and marine/aviation services will be used to support each development stage. 

As with previous developments, Whiptail will also employ the use of onshore infrastructure – shore bases, warehouses, storage and pipe yards, fabrication facilities, fuel supply facilities and waste management facilities. 

Whiptail is expected to employ up to a peak of 540 people during the drilling and installation stage and from 100 to 180 people during the production operations stage.

Production levels at Whiptail are expected to be 250,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd). The FPSO will be used to produce the crude, with two million barrels of oil storage capacity. The project will offload crude to a tanker, every three to six days during peak production.

Exxon has signed a memorandum of understanding with SBM Offshore, for the construction of a multi-purpose floater hull. First oil is expected between the fourth quarter of 2027 and the second quarter of 2028, for at least 20 years.

The project’s gas production capacity will be between 400 million and 640 million standard cubic feet per day (mscfd). ExxonMobil does not plan to export the gas. It has proposed using some for fuel for the project, then reinjecting the rest to maintain reservoir pressure and improve oil recovery.

Whiptail is the last project on Exxon’s list of six to come online by 2027 in the Stabroek Block. While the goal for this milestone was 1.2 million bpd, Whiptail will take production capacity to more than 1.3 million bpd.

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