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Exxon-led consortium kicks off oil production in Guyana ahead of schedule

A consortium operated by an Exxon Mobil Corp. subsidiary has started oil production from the Liza field, located in the Stabroek Block in Guyana, ahead of schedule.

Production from Liza field's first phase is expected to reach full capacity of 120,000 barrels of oil per day in the coming months, with the first sale expected within several weeks, ExxonMobil and partner Hess Corp. said Dec. 20 in separate statements.

The concept design for the Liza Phase 1 development project includes the Liza Destiny floating, production, storage and offloading, or FPSO vessel, and four subsea drill centers supporting 17 wells.

The FPSO vessel arrived at the Stabroek block in late August, and is moored 190 kilometers offshore Guyana.

A second FPSO, Liza Unity, with a capacity to produce up to 220,000 barrels of oil per day is under construction to support the Liza Phase 2 development, and front-end engineering design is underway for a potential third FPSO, the Prosperity, to develop the Payara field.

ExxonMobil said it expects production of over 750,000 barrels per day from the Stabroek Block by 2025 from at least five FPSOs. The Stabroek Block is estimated to host over 6 billion oil equivalent barrels of recoverable resource.

Exxon affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd. operates and holds a 45% interest in the Stabroek Block, Hess unit Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30% and China National Offshore Oil Corp. unit CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Ltd. holds the remaining 25%.

Hess COO Greg Hill said in October that the partners selected two more exploration wells — Uaru-1 and Mako-1 — to drill in Guyana, following their 14th successful well there, Tripletail.

Oil at the Tripletail-1 well was found after drilling in 6,572 feet of water by the Noble Tom Madden drillship, which encountered around 108 feet of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir.