Oil majors operating offshore Guyana are paying keen attention to the recount of the votes cast in the 2020 General and Regional Elections. In fact, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hess Corporation, John Hess, said yesterday during the firm’s 2020 first quarter earnings call that he is aware the United States and international observers are interested in the process reaching completion and reflecting the will of the Guyanese people.

From the company’s perspective, the CEO said, “…We expect a transparent election results in the weeks ahead.” And when there is a new government, Hess said he assumes the first, second and third priority for ExxonMobil and CNOOC/NEXEN who are the other partners on the Stabroek Block, would be to move the approval for the Payara development forward.
He added, “…That pretty much explains the six to 12-month delay on Payara.” Hess also stated that a combination of the effects of the COVID-91 pandemic also led to delays in staffing the rigs. He said that this also resulted in a slowdown for a few months. He noted however that the partners should be going back to a four-rig programme in June while adding that the first, second and third priority will be development wells, “but then we’ll start feathering in exploration wells and appraisal wells as well.”

Taking the foregoing into account, the Chief Executive Officer said that the political landscape is indeed a temporary interruption for the plans of the Stabroek Block partners but it is not a major one.

The Payara development plan includes a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, named Prosperity; it is expected to produce 220,000 barrels per day. The development is similar to that of Liza Phase 1 and 2. Payara will have up to 45 wells, including production wells, water injection wells, and gas injection wells. The Payara development startup is expected as early as 2023.
This development is ExxonMobil’s third project.


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