With the first floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) for the Liza Phase 1 project under construction in Singapore, Exxon and its partners are not only far advanced in the approval process for a larger second FPSO for Liza Phase 2, but also actively considering a third FPSO for Guyana. 

Speaking at last month’s GIPEX conference in Georgetown, Guyana, Ching Kooh, Project Executive, outlined how Exxon was forging ahead with both further exploration on their highly prospective Starbroek Block and fast-tracking the development of the Liza development. Exxon has submitted an application to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for environmental authorisation as part of the company’s plans for a potential production concept for Liza Phase 2. 

With the Stenna Carron drillship continuing with the exploration and appraisal programme, the Noble Bob Douglas drillship would begin the development drilling programme for Liza Phase 1. The Noble Bob Douglas has been contracted from April 2018 to April 2021. 

In February, Exxon announced its seventh oil discovery offshore Guyana, following drilling at the Pacora-1 exploration well. Exxon encountered approximately 65 feet (20 metres) of high-quality, oilbearing sandstone reservoir. The well was safely drilled to 18,363 feet (5,597 metres) depth in 6,781 feet (2,067 metres) of water. Drilling commenced on January 29th 2018. ‘This latest discovery further increases our confidence in developing this key area of the Stabroek Block’, said Steve Greenlee, President of ExxonMobil Exploration Company. ‘Pacora will be developed in conjunction with the giant Payara field, and along with other phases, will help bring Guyana’s production to more than 500,000 barrels per day’. 

The Pacora-1 well is located approximately four miles west of the Payara-1 well and follows previous discoveries on the Stabroek Block at Liza, Payara, Liza Deep, Snoek, Turbot and Ranger. This discovery may further underscore the need for a third FPSO. It would open up the possibility for a single FPSO to tie in production from both Payara and Pacora. Exxon and its partners, Hess and Nexen, will also be drilling further appraisal wells to test their previous discoveries at Turbot and Ranger. 

The gross recoverable resources for the Stabroek Block are now estimated to total more than 3.2 billion recoverable oil-equivalent barrels, based on discoveries at Liza, Liza Deep, Payara, Snoek and Turbot. 

When compared to the 17 wells being drilled for Liza Phase 1, approximately 35-40 wells may be drilled at two subsea drill centres for Phase 2, ‘consisting of a combination of producers and injectors to support production of oil, injection of water and reinjection of associated gas’. 

The FPSO for Liza Destiny, currently being built in Singapore for Liza Phase 1, will have a capacity of approximately 120,000 barrels per day. The FPSO to be used in a potential Phase 2 will be twice as large. According to Exxon, ‘The second FPSO will have an estimated production capacity of approximately 190,000 to 220,000 barrels of oil per day’.