(Reuters, 21.Aug.2023) — Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and partners plan to spend $12.93 billion to develop their sixth offshore oil project in Guyana, according to a filing published on Monday by the South American country.
The floating production platform for the so-called Whiptail project would start operations in 2027 and bring the Exxon-led consortium’s oil output in Guyana over 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd).
Guyana has emerged as the world’s fastest-growing new oil province in a decade with discoveries of more than 11 billion barrels of oil and gas. Exxon and partners Hess Corp (HES.N) and CNOOC Ltd (0883.HK) now produce 400,000 bpd from two vessels and have said they could develop up to 10 offshore projects.
Their production has brought $2.8 billion in direct revenue to Guyana and led to work for some 4,400 Guyanese.
The Whiptail project outlined in the Environmental Impact Analysis made public on Monday by the government is similar to Exxon’s fifth project – Uaru – with output of 250,000 bpd and an upper production limit of 263,000 bpd. Exxon, Hess and CNOOC committed to spending $12.7 billion for Uaru earlier this year.
The project does not plan to produce natural gas because studies indicated that any reduction in injected gas would result in reduced oil recovery, the filing said.
The partners plan to drill up to 72 wells with development drilling scheduled from late 2024 through mid-2030. Installation of subsea components would begin in the second half of 2025 or early 2026, according to Exxon.
The project is expected to employ up 540 people during the drilling and installation stage and from 100 to 180 people during production operations, Exxon said in the document to Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Reporting by Kiana Wilburg, writing by Sabrina Valle, editing by Deepa Babington