Last Updated on Sunday, 20 December 2020, 10:30 by Denis Chabrol
ExxonMobil on Sunday announced that its Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel offshore Guyana has reached full production capacity of 120,000 barrels and the company had significantly reduced flaring of natural gas with the commissioning of its gas injection system.
“Earlier this month, the Liza Destiny floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel reached full capacity of 120,000 barrels of oil per day and successfully commissioned the gas injection system,” the company said in a statement to coincide with its one-year anniversary of commercial oil production from the Liza 1 well.
A faulty gas injection system had caused the company to flare significant amounts of natural gas into the atmosphere, raising concerns among critics and environmental advocates. Eventually, in a bid to reduce flaring ExxonMobil had cut its production output here down to about 75,000 to 80,000 barrels per day and then eventually increased it to 100,000 barrels before hitting its full capacity.
“ExxonMobil Guyana is committed to the responsible development of the country’s natural resources and will not utilize routine flaring during our operations,” ExxonMobil Guyana President Alistair Routledge said in a company statement. “We are disappointed by the number of equipment issues experienced and that, because of these issues and COVID-19, commissioning of the gas injection system took longer than originally projected. We took significant steps to limit flaring and are incorporating lessons learned for future projects.”
The company began production less than five years after the first discovery of hydrocarbons, which is well ahead of the industry average for deepwater developments.
“We are incredibly proud of the tremendous work of our team in overcoming the challenges of the past year and safely bringing us to where we are today,” Mr. Routledge said. “This resilient group, which includes a growing number of Guyanese professionals, continues to persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic and initial startup challenges to deliver a world-class project,” he added.
The company said more than six thousand personnel have been transferred offshore without a safety incident or case of COVID-19 on the offshore facilities. Overall, the Liza Destiny FPSO team has achieved one year and more than one million hours of work without a recordable safety incident.
ExxonMobil said investment in the local economy continues to increase as the Liza Phase Two and Payara projects advance. More than 2,100 Guyanese are now supporting activities on and offshore. ExxonMobil and its key contractors have spent over GY $69 billion with more than 700 local companies since 2015.
The Liza and Payara developments are in the Stabroek Block, operated by ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited which holds a 45 percent interest in the Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30 percent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds 25 percent interest.