Come March next year, Guyana will become the newest and perhaps one of the most envied members of the oil producers industry. Taking Guyana to this new feat will be the Liza Destiny, the nation’s first Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel which will be hooked up for oil production in the Liza Field following clearance from customs.
The Liza field is expected to start producing up to 120,000 gross barrels of oil per day. This news agency understands that the FPSO will also provide living quarters and associated utilities for approximately 140 personnel. For safety reasons, ExxonMobil has noted that the FPSO will have a two nautical mile exclusion zone to avoid interactions with unauthorised vessels. It will also be spread moored in a water depth of 1,525 meters and will be able to store a total of 1.6 million barrels of crude oil.
It should be noted that the Liza Destiny will be the first of several to be deployed in Guyana’s waters. According to Hess and Exxon, the 13 discoveries on the Stabroek Block have increased the potential for five FPSOs. The second FPSO will be for Liza Phase Two while the third has been confirmed for the Payara field.
The Guyana Standard was informed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the Liza Destiny FPSO was designed to separate the recovered reservoir fluids of Liza One into its oil, water, and gas phases. The oil will be treated to remove impurities (e.g., sulfate and other salts) and then sent to storage tanks in the hull.
The water from the reservoir (referred to as produced water) will be treated to remove hydrocarbons and will then be discharged to the sea. The FPSO will dehydrate, compress, and re-inject the produced natural gas into the Liza reservoir, although some of the gas will be used as fuel on the FPSO, and some gas may be occasionally flared on a non-routine, temporary basis.
In addition to this, the FPSO will also have the capacity to treat (by filtration, deaeration, and sulfate removal) seawater for injection into the reservoir to maintain reservoir pressure (and offset the withdrawal of reservoir fluids) to enhance oil production.
The EPA also explained that the FPSO will offload produced crude oil to conventional oil tankers on a regular basis. The tanker, under the guidance of a Mooring Master, will manoeuvre to within approximately 120 m (390 feet) of the FPSO and hold position with the aid of up to three tugboats. Crude oil will be pumped from the FPSO storage tanks to an offloading tanker using a floating hose at a rate of approximately one million barrels of oil in about 28 hours.