Exxon Mobil has sanctioned its Whiptail development offshore Guyana, marking the sixth project in the deepwater Stabroek Block, the operator announced April 12.

ExxonMobil reached final investment decision (FID) on the $12.7 billion Whiptail project after receiving government and regulatory approvals. On April 12, SBM Offshore announced confirmation of construction and installation contracts for the 250,000 bbl/d Jaguar FPSO to serve the Whiptail development.

The project is expected to begin production in 2027.

The sixth Stabroek project will bring the country’s production capacity to 1.3 MMbbl/d, Liam Mallon, president of Exxon Mobil Upstream Co., said in a press release. Currently, the Liza Destiny, Liza Unity and Prosperity FPSOs are producing more than 600,000 bbl/d in the block. The Yellowtail FPSO is expected to receive first production in 2025 with Uaru following in 2026. Those two FPSOs are under construction and will have a gross production capacity of 250,000 bbl/d.

Block partner Hess Corp., which Chevron aims to acquire, said the Whiptail development will target an estimated resource base of more than 850 MMbbl of oil and include up to 10 drill centers and 48 production and injection wells. Whiptail production will flow to the Jaguar FPSO, which is under construction.

The Jaguar FPSO's design is based on SBM’s Fast4Ward program, which incorporates a newbuild multi-purpose floater hull combined with several standardized topsides modules. The FPSO will be designed to produce 250,000 bbl/d, treat 540 MMcf/d of associated gas per day and inject 300,000 bbl/d of water.

The FPSO will be spread moored in water depth of about 5,350 ft and will be able to store around 2 MMbbl of crude oil.

SBM said it will transfer ownership of the FPSO to Exxon Mobil before it is installed offshore Guyana. SBM will operate the FPSO for a decade under an operations and maintenance enabling agreement signed in 2023.

There are 6,200 Guyanese working in support of Stabroek Block operations, or about 70% of the workforce. Since 2015, the cumulative spend of Exxon Mobil Guyana and its contractors with Guyanese suppliers surpassed $1.5 billion at the end of 2023.

Exxon Mobil affiliate ExxonMobil Guyana Ltd. operates the 6.6-million-acre Stabroek Block with 45% interest on behalf of partners Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. with 30% interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited with 25% interest.

Hess’ 30% interest is at the heart of a dispute in which Exxon Mobil and CNOOC claim first right of refusal as Chevron seeks to acquire Hess’s footprint offshore Guyana.