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Guyana to load Payara Gold crude from November as production surges


Two cargoes of Payara Gold set to load in November

Payara is the heaviest of the three crudes currently produced in Guyana

Payara to lift Guyana output to 600,000 b/d

  • Author
  • Patrick Harrington
  • Editor
  • Jeff Mower
  • Commodity
  • Oil Metals

Guyana's Payara Gold crude, the third grade to enter production from the 6.6-million-acre Stabroek block, will officially begin loading in November, according to a copy of the program seen by S&P Global Commodity Insights.

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Two 1-million-barrel cargoes of Payara are scheduled to load in November, according to the program, which also includes seven cargoes of Unity Gold crude, and five cargoes of Liza. One of the Payara cargoes, set to load Nov. 10-11, is listed as a combined lifting between the Stabroek joint venture partners. The second Payara cargo, to load Nov. 20-21, will be lifted by ExxonMobil-controlled Esso Exploration Production and Guyana Ltd., or Esso.

The three partners developing the Stabroek block are ExxonMobil, Hess and China's CNOOC.

The inclusion of Payara Gold in the November loading program suggests that Guyana's production is running on track or ahead of schedule, with initial projections suggesting Payara would come online by the end of 2023. ExxonMobil country manager Alistair Routledge said in a Sept. 7 interview that the Payara field would enter production by the end of 2023 after the Prosperity FPSO came online.

With Guyana already producing 400,000 b/d from two FPSOs, Payara would lift output to 600,000 b/d, on track for six projects to be producing by the end of 2027, Routledge said.

S&P Global Commodity Insights forecasts expect Guyana production to surpass 400,000 b/d by the end of 2023, due to the start of the Payara project, with output expected to grow to 1.2 million b/d by the late 2020s.

Payara is the heaviest of the medium sweet crudes produced in Guyana so far, according to assays on ExxonMobil's website. Liza, the first grade to come from the ExxonMobil-led consortium, is a 32 API crude, with about 0.58% sulfur. Unity Gold is a 34.5 API crude, with 0.41% sulfur, according to a July 2023 assay.

Payara is 28 API and 0.58% sulfur.

Still, while assays suggest Payara is a heavier crude, one market participant said initial offers for Payara came at a 50 cents/b premium to Unity Gold. A separate source suggested the premium could simply mean the joint venture partners are testing the market, or that Payara has a better distillate yield than other similar crudes.

Platts last assessed Unity Gold at a premium of $1.50/b to the Latin Dated Brent strip, and Liza at a $1.30/b premium.

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