ExxonMobil has set 2020 as the target year for when it begins light crude production from its big oilfield offshore Guyana.
The Liza-1 and Liza-2 wells in the deep water Stabroek block – successfully explored in May 2015 and June 2016 respectively – are expected to be very productive for a long term, possibly two decades, although Exxon has not yet confirmed daily production expectations.
The FPSO (floating, production, storage and offloading vessel) that will be employed has a capacity of 100,000 barrels per day.
Exxon is the single biggest of three partners in the Stabroek block with a 45% stake, while fellow US firm Hess has 30% and Nexen, a unit of China’s CNOOC has 25%.
These wells are part of the Essequibo region that has been subject of a fierce territorial dispute between Guyana – a novice in the resource-extraction business – and Venezuela, which has long been a major player.
Essequibo has been contested territory between the two nations since the 19th century but the rhetoric from Venezuela has ratcheted up since the Exxon discoveries, exacerbated by the economic and political turmoil in that nation.