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ExxonMobil Starts Up Second FPSO off Guyana

SBM offshore
Liza Unity (file image courtesy SBM Offshore)

Published Feb 14, 2022 10:23 PM by The Maritime Executive

ExxonMobil has started up its second FPSO in Guyanese waters, the Liza Unity. The newly-built floating production unit is on track to ramp up to a target of 220,000 barrels per day by the end of the year, nearly tripling the field's output. 

The first FPSO at the Liza field, Liza Destiny, had a troubled start after it came online in 2019. However, with some adjustments it is now performing at better than design capacity, ExxonMobil reported. With both online, the two FPSOs at Liza have a combined nameplate capacity of about 340,000 bpd.

Exxon has prioritized exploration activity in its Stabroek Block lease off the coast of Guyana, a promising new region where the company has already found 10 attractive commercial prospects. Pending regulatory approval, it expects to see four FPSOs with a combined capacity of more than 800,000 bpd in operation in the lease area by the end of 2025, with more likely to come. The third FPSO, for the Payara field, is under construction now. 

Exxon highlighted its local-content effort and its expenditures within Guyana, which came to about $220 million in 2021 - roughly four percent of Guyana's entire national GDP. 

“We are collaborating closely with the government and people of Guyana to develop this world-class resource responsibly, helping to meet the world’s energy needs and delivering enhanced value for all stakeholders at a record pace and well ahead of the industry average,” said Liam Mallon, president, ExxonMobil Upstream Oil and Gas.

ExxonMobil is the Stabroek block's operator and holds a 45 percent interest. Hess holds 30 percent and CNOOC holds the remaining 25 percent. According to critics, the Guyanese government will only receive about 15 percent of the proceeds, a share which some opponents view as unfavorable for the national interest. Questions about Guyana's capabilities for a timely pollution-control response in the event of a blowout have also been raised