Natural Resources Minister, Vickram Bharrat has confirmed with Guyana Standard that the Energy Department is now at the stage of preparing ExxonMobil’s licence to go ahead with its development plans on the Payara project in the Stabroek Block. The official said that the draft document would be reviewed by the government soon for signing.
The Minister said, “We should be engaging the company early this week or next week so they can have their input. We still have a few issues to iron out on the environmental side but we have a draft license that is being continuously updated. We are trying to move the process forward. It definitely won’t be dragged out until the end of the month.”
The Minister added that the former Premier of Alberta, Ms. Alison Redford, who was hired to conduct the review of the Payara Field Development Plan (FDP) will also be wrapping up her work this week.
The Payara development plan includes a floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel, named Prosperity, which is expected to produce 220,000 barrels per day. The development is similar to that of Liza phase One and Two. Payara will have up to 45 wells, including production wells, water injection wells, and gas injection wells.
In terms of sheer numbers, Petroleum Experts, Dr. Remi Piet and Arthur Deakin recently noted that the Payara field is by no means, just another ordinary oil development project. According to the industry stakeholders, Payara is a one-of-a-kind development that represents an estimated US$465 million in annual revenues for the government based on Brent Crude at U$40/barrel. In a recent opinion piece that they co-authored, it was noted that this is nearly half a billion dollars that could be used for schools, hospitals, and the strengthening of Guyana’s inadequate sea defences.
Taking this into consideration, Dr. Piet and Deakin, two senior officials at Americas Market Intelligence (AMI) and Africa Market Intelligence (AfMI), are of the firm view that delays in approval for the Payara project are not in Guyana’s interest. They have since advocated for the approvals to be granted without haste.