Liza to flow at 100,000 b/d, ExxonMobil official says

ExxonMobil Corp.’s giant Liza discovery offshore Guyana will have an average production of 100,000 b/d of oil when it begins flowing in 2020 according to the company’s Country Manager Jeff Simons. It also expects to produce 165 MMscfd of natural gas that will be mainly used for reinjection into the wells.

Speaking this week at the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago's annual energy conference, Simmons said the company will use a floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) unit to produce the oil and would then export it, and raised the possibility of it being refined in nearby Trinidad and Tobago.

He told delegates that the company planned to drill 17 production wells with subsea tiebacks to the FPSO and that ExxonMobil was confident it could meet the early start up deadline because of its use of “cutting edge” technology.

Simmons said no decision had been taken as of yet on whether ExxonMobil would use one or two drillships during the development stage. He noted that ExxonMobil has always been committed to the maximum use of local content but admitted that during production very few jobs will be created in Guyana because a total of 60 people will be required for the production of the oil.

ExxonMobil’s Country Manager said the company has had to use Trinidad and its services during the exploration phase due to the Caribbean island’s relatively close proximity, its long history in oil and gas, and its capacity to service the industry.

Asked if he thought that the company’s production out of the Starbroke block could increase with additional discoveries in the offing, Simmons was careful to point out that there was no certainty in exploration and pointed to the Skipjack prospect, which he said was a geological lookalike to Liza and turned up a dry hole.

“Before drilling Liza our partner left us and we were looking for a new partner because we were not prepared to take the risk alone. Luckily we got Hess and Nexen and luckily we drilled Liza 1 before we drilled Shipjack, which, if you look at them, they look like a mirror image, and one was a massive find while the other failed. So I hope we will find more oil but I can only speak to what we know is there.” Simmons told the conference.

Earlier this month ExxonMobil and its partners announced its Payara-1 well offshore Guyana as its second discovery on the Stabroek block (OGJ Online, Jan. 12, 2017). The Payara-1 well targeted similar aged reservoirs that were proven successful in the Liza discovery.

The well was drilled by ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd., and encountered more than 95 ft of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. It was drilled to 18,080 ft in 6,660 ft of water. The Payara field discovery is about 10 miles northwest of the Liza discovery.

ExxonMobil also announced that in addition to the Payara discovery, appraisal drilling at Liza-3 identified an additional high-quality, deeper reservoir directly below Liza field, which is estimated to contain between 100-150 million boe.

The Liza 1 well encountered more than 295 ft of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone in May 2015. With the second well on the block, Liza 2, the company confirmed the finding as significant with a potential recoverable resource of 800 million-1.4 billion boe of high-quality oil.

Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd. is operator and holds 45% interest in the Stabroek block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30% interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Ltd. holds 25% interest.

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