ExxonMobil rules out oil refinery at current levels

Last Updated on Friday, 25 November 2016, 10:32 by Denis Chabrol

ExxonMobil has ruled out building a refinery in Guyana because the amount of oil found here is too small to support such a venture.

Delivering a presentation to the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) Awards and Dinner, the Country Manager of ExxonMobil’s local subsidiary- Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited- Jeff Simons said the projected production of  about 100,000 barrels per day would not make building a refinery here profitable.

“Building a big refinery means you are going to be exporting a lot of product too and so getting to the economies of scale in this Hemisphere that will allow for an economic development of a refinery, you need more oil, you need a really big refinery to be competitive and right now that doesn’t look like an attractive…,” he said.

ExxonMobil has found an estimated 1.8 billion barrels of high quality crude at Liza 2 located at about 120 kilometres offshore Guyana.

Although Liza, with its 17 wells, will be producing more than the 70,000 barrels of oil that Trinidad and Tobago currently produces, Simons said “you are going to build a big refinery, you need more than Liza to do that.”

The ExxonMobil official was at the time responding to a question from one of the attendees who suggested that an oil refinery would create a large number of jobs.

The United States believes that, while ExxonMobil will not generate large numbers of jobs, Guyana has an opportunity to spend some of the oil revenues on developing its social sectors, infrastructure, renewable energy capacity and value-added products.

Operator Esso Exploration & Production Guyana Ltd., an ExxonMobil affiliate, holds 45% interest. Its partners are Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. with 30% interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Ltd. with 25% interest.