Guyana-Suriname Basin OTC2021 Technical Panel Summary

(Energy Analytics Institute, 16.Aug.2021) — Executives with ExxonMobil provided technical details of the company’s initial, current and planned activities in Guyana. What follows are excerpts from their presentations during the Offshore Technology Conference 2021 (16-19 August) in Houston, Texas.

ExxonMobil, Audrey Varga

— Outline of Guyana-Suriname exploration history: Standard Oil, early onshore studies (1938-1943); Esso Suriname, offshore exploration (1975-1982); Exxon regional studies and Stabroek entry, 1992-1999; Stabroek pre-Liza work program (1999-2015); Stabroek discoveries (2015-2020); first production from Stabroek (December 2019); ongoing exploration and planning (2020+).

ExxonMobil, Nick Austin

— The Liza-1 exploration well, Guyana’s first deepwater discovery in 2015, opened a new play with discovery of more then 90m (295ft) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstones.

— Liza-1 provided initial confidence in reservoir description but significant uncertainty remained for unpenetrated regions of the field. A multi-scenario modeling and simulation approach was implemented to capture the full range of plausible realizations and focus the appraisal program.

— Advanced proprietary full wavefield inversion (FWI) seismic reprocessing used to plan Liza Phase I development wells. High resolution 4D baseline seismic acquisition and processing further enabled well placement and depletion plan optimization.

— Liza Phase 1 find went from find to first oil in less than five years. Phase 1 develops D and E sands penetrated by Liza-1 and supported by the Liza-2 well and DST. Results support subsurface basis for rapid progression from discovery to development.

ExxonMobil, Styslinger

— Liza Phase 1 project overview: estimated resources 450 MMbbls gross EUR; 17 wells … 8 producers, 9 injectors (6 water and 3 gas); water depth 1,690-1860m; topsides of 14k tons (120,000 b/d oil processing, 190,000 b/d water injection at 6,500psig, and 160 MMcf/d of gas injection at 8,400psig.

— Designing in a frontier environment with limited data: geotechnical survey conducted in a phased approach; complex metocean environment required a two-year measurement campaign; robust engineering design completed in parallel with survey programs; engineering verification assessments conducted after the finalization of field criteria

— Application of the steel lazy wave riser (SLWR) selected as best option to reduce design sensitivity at the touchdown point; strong deep water currents challenging for fatigue design; riser selection and expansion of traditional technologies enabled a robust design and execution certainty

— Frontier offshore project execution; ambitious installation target schedule at end of the favorable weather season; early installation planning and identification of key interfaces and challenges required to support execution schedule; prioritized weather sensitive activities in most favorable metocean season when schedule allowed

— Liza Phase 1 achieved top quartile schedule performance while managing risks of frontier environment; one team approach key contributor to achieving the project objectives; laid the “foundation for the future” and helped Guyana realize its “Destiny” to establish new oil and gas industry

ExxonMobil, Lawson Burns

— Liza Phase 1 project overview: estimated resources 450 MMbbls gross EUR; 17 wells … 8 producers, 9 injectors (6 water and 3 gas); water depth 1,690-1860m; topsides of 14k tons (120,000 b/d oil processing, 190,000 b/d water injection at 6,500psig, and 160 MMcf/d of gas injection at 8,400psig.

— Liza Phase 2 project overview: estimated resources 600 MMbbls gross EUOR; 30 wells … 15 producers and 15 injectors; new build FPSO … spread moored in approximately 1,650m water depth; topsides of 24k tons (220,000 b/d oil processing, 250,000 b/d water injection; 370 MMcf/d of gas injection

— FPSO Unity hull selection; Liza Phase 2 project selected SBM’s multi purpose floater (MPF) after a comprehensive validation process; MPF is a generic hull design with flexibility enabling it to be built on spec and therefore off FPSO critical path; the hull was delivered to Singapore in early 2020 in time for module and marine integration work

— Fiber optic cable; as part of the Liza Phase 2 project over 500kms of fiber optic cable will be installed to enable high bandwidth connectivity offshore and support future digital initiatives

— Unity FPSO is the first application of SBM’s Fast4Ward concept which utilizes a standardized hull to enable delivery of a large, new build FPSO with reduced schedule. The Unity FPSO also targeted D1BM opportunities from Destiny to achieve further design and execution efficiencies

ExxonMobil, Kolby Burmaster

— Year-end 2020 D&C statistics; approximately 500 Guyanese personnel directly supporting activity; approximately 40% of the total workforce in Guyana; 290000 hours of job-related training to date; $115mn invested in Guyanese suppliers from 2018 to present

— Accelerated execution timelines are achievable when defined milestones are understood; global experience of ExxonMobil enable first oil ahead of schedule with highly productive wells

ExxonMobil, James Steves

— Guyana Stabroek block development; 19 discoveries since 2015; large remaining prospective area, active exploration program with 2 rig lines in 2019, 6 drill rigs total in country in 2021; attractive fiscal terms; Liza Phase 1 operation since December 2019 (first oil); Liza Phase 2 executing with first oil targeted by 1Q:22; Payara to develop remaining resource in greater Liza area, first oil by 1Q:23

— Limited existing Guyana infrastructure results in numerous services being provided from Trinidad which has a mature oil and gas market; logistics shore base with deep draft capacity (>5.5m) not available in Guyana; fabrication/machine shop services not currently available in Guyana; pace of growth needs to be managed to avoid overwhelming country capacity

— Digital development and future upgrades; 50km of fiber cable, bandwidth up to 300 gbps per FPSO; key benefits and enabling technologies … onshore integrated operations center, modern high speed telecommunications, global collaboration and remote support/surveillance capabilities, 4G LTE on FPSOs … improved telecoms on nearby drill ships and vessels; and advanced reservoir monitoring.


By Ian Silverman, Aaron Simonsky and Jared Yamin. © Energy Analytics Institute (EAI). All Rights Reserved.