ExxonMobil announced plans to start light crude oil production offshore Guyana by 2020, turning the small South American country into a relevant oil exporter.
This follows major discoveries in Guyana in May 2015 and June 2016 of “world-class resources”, possibly the largest over the last two years.
“A small team worked more than a year designing and executing a plan that had now brought us to the brink of what could be a major discovery,” ExxonMobil’s Guyana Basin Project Manager said, at the time of the Liza-1 well discovery.
ExxonMobil to Start Oil Production Offshore Guyana
The US supermajor had discovered crude at the Liza-1 well in the deep water Stabroek block and later, on the Liza-2 well, where it confirmed recoverable resources of 800 million to 1.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent. The third well – Skipjack – was spudded in July.
The floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel used has an annual capacity of 100,000 barrels per day (bpd).
At the time, the volume discovered at the Liza-2 well, was considered as approximately half of the entire volume of oil discovered in the industry in 2015.
Nevertheless, 2015 was not a bright year in terms of oil discoveries, with fewer volumes seen since 2012.
Offshore Oil Exploration Not a Job Source for Guyana
ExxonMobil operates Stabroek with a 45% stake, while Hess holds 30% and CNOOC holds the remaining 25%.
Stabroek is part of the Essequibo region, covering two-thirds of Guyana, which has been the object of a border dispute with Venezuela for over a century.
Currently, Guyana produces no oil or gas and imports all its oil products from Trinidad and Tobago after the dispute over Essequibo led Venezuela to suspend shipments in 2015.
Despite the potential of the Strabroek finds, a top official at ExxonMobil told local media last week that oil exploration in the country is not expected to result in a significant number of direct jobs and it is the government’s responsibility to use oi revenues to help create employment.