Guyana now a worldwide energy center

ExxonMobil CEO expects over 1.2 million barrels a day by 2027

An array of pumpjacks operate near the site of a new oil and gas well being drilled Friday, April 8, 2022, in Midland, Texas. (Odessa American/Eli Hartman)

There’re big doings offshore at Guyana these days with the ExxonMobil Corp. at the forefront.

The once-impoverished nation with only 800,000 people on South America’s North Atlantic Coast has become “the” global oil hotspot with ExxonMobil pumping almost 400,000 barrels per day and projecting another 220,000 next year and more than 1.2 million by 2027.

ExxonMobil spokeswoman Margot Ledet said Wednesday from Houston that her company “will continue to optimize all aspects of our Guyana operations to drive greater efficiencies and enhance our overall resource value.

“Our two floating, production, storage and offloading vessels (FPSO) in the Stabroek Block’s Liza Field, Liza Destiny and Liza Unity, are now safely producing nearly 400,000 barrels of oil per day,” Ledet said. “Our Guyana development plans continue at an industry-leading pace with another FPSO scheduled to start up by the end of 2023 and produce 220,000 barrels a day in 2024.”

She said her company will have up to six FPSOs operating offshore by 2027 when production should reach 1.2 million barrels per day.

By comparison the Permian Basin’s daily production is about 5.5 million b/pd.

“With their low cost of supply and lower emissions intensity our Guyana opportunities are among the most competitive in our portfolio,” Ledet said. “These developments are expected to generate 30 percent lower greenhouse gas intensity than the average of our upstream portfolio.”

Speaking at the S&P Global CERAWeek Conference in Houston last spring ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods called his company’s Guyana venture “a story of success.

“We are very focused as we grow that production,” Woods said.

Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd. operates the field for a 45 percent interest in the 6.6-million-acre Stabroek Block with 11 billion proved barrels of oil.

“We brought that from discovery to first production in five years, which is an industry record or close to it,” Woods said. “If you then look at what we have delivered since that timeframe we are bringing in those floating production storage and offloading ships and that production ahead of schedule.

“We’ve beaten schedule for Liza Destiny and Liza Unity and the third one, Prosperity, is expected to beat schedule.”

Woods said EEPGL is managing production and staying focused “at a higher level than we anticipated when we made those investments” and EEPGL is working to reduce emissions.

He also reported that his company was developing a $2-billion gas-to-energy project with the Georgetown-based Guyana government to pump gas inland and benefit the citizenry.

Industry analysts say the Liza Field’s high-quality light sweet crude oil has heightened international interest with companies like Brazil’s Petrobras and France’s TotalEnergies wanting to invest.

They say the nation’s emergence as a big-time player on the world’s energy scene portends a loss of power for OPEC-Plus and that while the cartel wants Guyana to join, the nation is skeptical because the cartel would impose production quotas.

Other factors in the hubbub are the low breakeven price of $28 per barrel and Guyana’s going from a poor country to the world’s hottest economy with a 62-percent bump in its gross domestic product last year.