Exxon wants to increase production capacity at Liza One – Hess COO
By Kemol King
Kaieteur News – Although the name plate capacity for the ship operating ExxonMobil’s Lizxon Phase One project is 120,000 barrels per day, it has been producing at a higher rate since December, and ExxonMobil wants to increase that capacity even further this year. So said Chief Operations Officer at Hess Corporation, Gregory Hill on Wednesday, during Stabroek Block partner Q4 2020 earnings call.
Hill said in his presentation, “In mid-December, Liza Destiny’s float, production, storage and offloading vessel achieved its name plate capacity of 120,000 gross barrels of oil equivalent per day. And since then it has been operating at or above that level. ”
He added that the ship had been operating consistently around 127,000 barrels per day in the week leading up to the January 27 earnings call.
“The wells continue to do as well or better than we thought,” he explained.
“During 2021,” continued Hill, “the operator [ExxonMobil] intends to evaluate and pursue options to increase name plate capacity. ”
This pursuit would include some pipe changes and debottlenecking, which is expected to occur during the third quarter shutdown.
The net production forecast for Guyana in 2021 will average an average of 30,000 barrels per day, “with the downtime of maintenance and optimization roughly offset by increased name plate capacity,” Hill said.
The Liza Destiny has been producing oil since December 2019. Despite showing name plate capacity production at times, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has cut production largely due to ExxonMobil gas flares. The torch was only reduced to pilot levels last December, and has recently increased due to another announced equipment fault.
Following the infrastructure changes, Liza’s Phase One reserve will be removed much sooner. The increase will also have implications for the volumes of gas flamed during emergencies and the production of water dumped into the ocean.
The increase will result in ExxonMobil exceeding its production rate targets much faster. The company and its partners, Hess and CNOOC, had announced plans to exceed 750,000 barrels a day by 2026 with five FPSOs. Even without the infrastructure upgrade, it will only need four.
Liza Phases One and Two, and Payara have name plate capabilities, which will combine to produce 560,000 barrels per day by 2024. Yellowtail-1 is expected to have a name plate capacity of 220,000 barrels per day, according to Hess CEO , John Hess.
If the Yellowtail-1 development, which is currently being planned, is approved, ExxonMobil will meet the production capacity of 780,000 barrels of oil per day in the Stabroek Block with all four vessels.
Apart from any further increases in the Stabroek Block name plate capabilities, Liza’s Phase One increase could take ExxonMobil production well over 800,000 barrels per day.