‘Excellence in project execution, operation’ saw Payara reaching nameplate capacity ahead of schedule – Exxon

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ExxonMobil said in its 2024 first-quarter earnings report that excellence in project execution and operations was demonstrated when the Payara project safely reached its nameplate production target of 220,000 barrels per day (b/d) in January. 

Dutch floater specialist, SBM Offshore, delivered the Prosperity floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel ahead of schedule for the project.

After starting production in November, the Prosperity FPSO achieved background flare in a record 39 days. “Delivering ahead of expectation underscores the value of the lessons learned from our previous projects, which we applied meticulously to Payara’s start-up,” ExxonMobil Guyana President, Alistair Routledge, had said.

The Payara project reached its target production in two months, despite the expectation that it would take five. ExxonMobil and SBM Offshore took learnings from the previous FPSOs. Just before Prosperity, the Liza Unity had taken five months to reach its target and has since been debottlenecked. That project produced an average of 242,000 b/d in the first quarter and has demonstrated it can produce up to 260,000 b/d.

Exxon has said it intends to pursue production optimization at Payara to a target of 250,000 b/d. However, the vessel has already exceeded its initial target, demonstrating it can produce up to 238,000 b/d, according to data published by the Guyana government.

Thus far, Payara has driven increases in net output for all the Stabroek Block partners at higher-than-expected levels. 

The FPSO design is based on SBM Offshore’w Fast4Ward® program that incorporates its new build, multi-purpose hull combined with several standardized topsides modules. The FPSO is designed to produce 220,000 barrels of oil per day, has associated gas treatment capacity of 400 million cubic feet per day and water injection capacity of 250,000 barrels per day. The FPSO is spread moored in water depth of about 1,900 meters and can store up to 2 million barrels of crude oil.

In addition to delivering three FPSOs to the ExxonMobil-operated Stabroek Block, SBM Offshore will deliver the ONE GUYANA and Jaguar FPSOs in 2025 and 2027, respectively. 

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