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Guyana signing off ExxonMobil's
220,000 b/d
Payara oil project

ExxonMobil

Saipem's FDS2 (pictured) and Constellation will perform the Payara offshore operations using
a combination of J-lay and reel-lay.

By Canute James /Argus

GEORGETOWN
Petroleumworld 10 01 2020

Guyana's government will sign an agreement with ExxonMobil on 2 October that clears the way for the development of the 220,000 b/d Payara project on the deepwater Stabroek block, natural resources minister Vickram Bharrat said.

Guyana's approval of ExxonMobil's Payara development plan is a milestone in the country's emergence from months of uncertainty following disputed elections in March. A new government led by President Irfaan Ali was finally installed in August.

ExxonMobil has not commented on Bharrat's statement about the agreement, but the company is "eager to move forward" as Payara "remains a top priority in the company's global growth plans," ExxonMobil Guyana president Alistair Routledge said last week.

Payara is ExxonMobil's third project on the Stabroek block and is central to the company's production target of 750,000 b/d of 32.1°API Liza crude by 2025.

Start-up of Payara is tentatively scheduled for 2023. ExxonMobil plans to launch the 220,000 b/d Liza 2 development in 2022.

The company had suspended work on the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel earmarked for the Payara project as it awaited government clearance of the development plan, the company said on 8 September. The agreement on Payara was further drawn out as the government and ExxonMobil tussled over fines for natural gas flaring and untreated water dumping at Stabroek. Details of the fines have not been disclosed.

ExxonMobil operates 6.6mn-acre Stabroek with a 45pc stake. US independent Hess holds 30pc, and the remaining 25pc belongs to Chinese state-owned CNOOC unit Nexen.

The consortium started production at Liza in December 2019, and was producing around 85,000 b/d as of the end of August, short of a 120,000 b/d forecast, because of a compression issue. Neither Guyana nor ExxonMobil have specified the current level of production on the block.

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