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Exxon, Hess, and CNOOC are preparing to launch a sixth offshore oil project in Guyana, with $12.93 billion earmarked for its development.
This is according to a filing by the Guyanese government cited by Reuters, which also revealed the new project, dubbed Whiptail, will be operational in four years.
Earlier this year, the Guyanese government also greenlit another multi-billion-dollar development proposed by Exxon and partners for the Stabroek block. The Uaru field has estimated reserves of over 800 million barrels of crude and would add 250,000 bpd to the consortium’s current production rate in Guyana.
The Whiptail field should add a similar production rate to the total, with a maximum projected yield of 263,000 bpd.
After the start of the Urau and the Whiptail projects, Exxon and partners’ output on Guyana could rise to 1.2 million bod in 2027. The current rate of production in the country is about 400,000 bpd, from two fields but the consortium eyes as many as 10 developments.
Exxon and its partners Hess Corp. and China’s CNOOC have made some 30 discoveries offshore Guyana since they started exploring the Stabroek block. Production is climbing consistently, likely to hit the target 400,000 bpd by the end of this year. Guyana is a priority jurisdiction for Exxon, along with U.S. shale.
The three companies are currently the only oil producers in Guyana, but the country’s government has big plans. Guyana is tendering 14 more blocks this year as it seeks to speed up its transformation into a major oil producer while reducing Exxon’s dominance of its emerging oil industry.
Guyana’s government eyes oil production of some 1.64 million bpd by 2030 as it is eager to monetize its hydrocarbon resources before peak demand hits, as predicted by forecasters seeing a successful energy transition away from fossil fuels.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com