Guyana oil production hits 500,000 bpd as Payara ramp-up outpaces previous projects  

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Kemol King
Kemol King is a journalist with six years of experience in Guyana's media landscape. He covers the oil & gas sector and its impact on the country's development.

Oil production in Guyana hit the half a million barrels per day milestone at the close of November with the addition of the Prosperity floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel at the ExxonMobil-operated Stabroek Block. This is according to production data published by Guyana’s Ministry of Natural Resources.

Having hit 101,000 bpd in just 16 days, the ramp-up of the Payara project is outpacing the similar capacity Liza 2 project, which had peaked at 68,000 bpd in a similar period last year. Liza 1 took six months to get to 100,000 bpd.

ExxonMobil had said it expects Payara, which started producing in the middle of November, to reach its nameplate capacity of 220,000 bpd in five months – sometime at the end of the second quarter of 2024. Liza 2 took five months to achieve nameplate capacity of 220,000 bpd. 

The production data shows that Payara produced just over a million barrels of crude in November. Liza 1 produced over 4 million barrels at 145,000 bpd and Liza 2 produced over 6.4 million barrels at 223,000 bpd. The three projects collectively averaged over 405,000 bpd. 

For the year up to November 29, the Stabroek Block has produced nearly 126 million barrels of oil at 378,000 bpd. Production numbers for November 30 were not published and are expected with the December production update.

All the FPSOs currently in operation offshore Guyana have been built by Dutch floater specialist, SBM Offshore.

The Stabroek Block’s increasing production has seen it move from 27.2 million barrels in 2020 to 101.3 million barrels in 2022. So far in 2023, production totaled approximately 126 million barrels in November. 

At the current rate, the Stabroek Block would produce more than 12 million barrels in December, potentially closing out the year in excess of 138 million barrels. 

ExxonMobil has a 45% operating stake in the Stabroek Block, while Hess has a 30% stake and China’s CNOOC has a 25% stake.

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