Exxon Mobil Corp. said July 23 it had named its former Qatar country manager as the chief of its operations in Guyana, a South American country that just started producing crude last year and is seen as key to the company's future.
Alastair Routledge takes over after the company, as part of a consortium with Hess Corp, and China's CNOOC Ltd., has discovered some 8 billion barrels of oil and gas off the coast of Guyana, a poor country with no history of oil production.
While crude exports have the potential to spur economic development, Routledge will have to contend with political turbulence after a disputed March presidential election. Exxon Mobil CEO Darren Woods told investors in May that the uncertainty had "slowed government approvals and progress."
Guyana President David Granger has remained in office since the vote, even though a preliminary recount showed opposition candidate Irfaan Ali won. The U.S. has called on Granger to "step aside," but Granger insists he has not interfered with the vote or the ongoing court review.
Exxon Mobil expects to produce 750,000 bbl/d of crude in Guyana by 2026, but has said the political uncertainty has delayed government approvals for its third offshore project.
Mark Bynoe, the Guyanese government's director of energy, has said Exxon Mobil must make improvements to its Payara plan.
Routledge replaces Rod Henson, who was recently named Exxon Mobil's vice president for wells in Houston.
The U.S. oil and gas rig count fell by four to an all-time low of 247 in the week to Aug. 7, according to data from energy services firm Baker Hughes Co.
The rig count steadied at the all-time low of 251 in the week to July 31, according to data from energy services firm Baker Hughes Co.
The running rate of frac activity in the Permian has shifted from 15 to 20 wells per week in May and June, to 40 to 45 wells per week in the last three weeks. Last week, week 29, activity was particularly strong with 63 started frac operations based on our preliminary estimates. This level of activity has not been seen in the Permian since early April this year.