Texas-based Exxon Mobil now expects its six offshore Guyana projects to generate gross production of 1.3 MMbbl/d by 2027, the company’s upstream head Liam Mallon said. The revised production is 100,000 bbl/d more than earlier production estimates of more than 1.2 MMbbl/d.

On April 12, Exxon took a final investment decision (FID) for its Whiptail development offshore Guyana in the Stabroek Block.

Whiptail is Exxon’s “sixth multi-billion-dollar project in Guyana,” Mallon said in an April 12 press release, and production is expected to begin in 2027. The higher production estimates were revealed by Exxon as part of details around its $12.7 billion FID for Whiptail. The project will have a 250,000 bbl/d gross production capacity. The FID was taken after receiving government and regulatory approvals.

Previously, Exxon and New York-based Hess Corp., partners in Stabroek, said they expected the earlier production figure to come from six FPSO’s planned by the end of 2027. The number of FPSOs necessary to reach the figure hasn’t changed, just the production estimates.

The two U.S.-based companies maintain that the discovered resources to date on Stabroek — slightly more than 11 Bboe — will underpin potential for up to 10 FPSOs.

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

Whiptail in-depth

Block partner Hess, which Chevron aims to acquire in a $53 billion all-stock deal, said Whiptail 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.

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’ footprint offshore Guyana. The closing date of the merger was slated for later this year, but could push beyond that date.

Whiptail production will flow to the Jaguar FPSO, which is under construction. SBM Offshore announced confirmation of construction and installation contracts for the Jaguar FPSO to serve the Whiptail development.

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 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 before it is installed offshore Guyana. SBM will operate the FPSO for a decade under an operations and maintenance enabling agreement signed in 2023.

About 6,200 Guyanese are 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.

Stabroek production ramp up

Strabroek production has been consistently revised up.

Currently, the Liza Destiny, Liza Unity and Prosperity FPSOs are producing more than 600,000 bbl/d gross in Stabroek. 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.

Liza Phase 1, the first development, started production in December 2019 utilizing the Liza Destiny FPSO. In the fourth quarter of 2023, its production capacity increased to 160,000 bbl/d from 150,000 gross bbl/d, according to Hess.

Liza Phase 2, the second development, started production in February 2022 from the Liza Unity FPSO. In the third quarter of 2023, its production capacity increased to 250,000 bbl/d compared to an initial production capacity of 220,000 bbl/d reached in July 2022. Further production optimization work is planned in 2024.

Payara, the third development, started production in November 2023 from the Prosperity FPSO. The FPSO reached an initial production capacity of 220,000 bbl/d in January 2024.

Yellowtail, the fourth development, was sanctioned in April 2022 and will utilize the ONE GUYANA FPSO. The FPSO will have an initial production capacity of 250,000 bbl/d with first production slated for 2025. The development will utilize six drill centers, with up to 26 production wells and 25 injection wells planned.

Uaru, the fifth development, was sanctioned in April 2023. It will utilize the Errea Wittu FPSO with an initial production capacity of 250,000 bbl/d. First production from the FPSO is expected in 2026. Ten drill centers are planned with up to 21 production wells and 23 injection wells.

Whiptail, the sixth development, was submitted to Guyana’s government for approval in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Additionally, advances regarding a much-needed gas-to-energy project in Guyana continue. Activities are underway to construct a 130-mile pipeline network and associated infrastructure that will ship 50 MMcf/d of natural gas from the Liza Field to a 300-megawatt onshore power plant. The plant is expected to be constructed and operated by the Guyanese government, according to Hess. Exxon Mobil Guyana Ltd. expects to complete pipeline construction and field hook-up by the end of 2024.