Prominent Italian engineering, drilling, and construction services provider, Saipem, has received the nod from ExxonMobil Guyana to forge ahead with its involvement in the company’s sixth oil development venture in the Stabroek block off the coast of Guyana.

Saipem was enlisted in November 2023 to oversee the design, fabrication, and installation of subsea structures, risers, flowlines, and umbilicals intended for a substantial subsea production facility at the Whiptail oilfield development. Situated at a water depth of approximately 2,000 meters, this marks ExxonMobil’s sixth project within the Stabroek block offshore Guyana. With regulatory green lights secured, ExxonMobil solidified its commitment by reaching a final investment decision (FID) for the project at the close of last week.

Following the FID milestone, ExxonMobil Guyana Limited and its Stabroek block coventurers have granted Saipem the green light to commence execution of the Whiptail oilfield development project. The company’s scope of work encompasses detailed engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) of the subsea production facility, valued between US$750 million and US$1.5 billion.

Initiating initial activities, including detailed engineering and procurement of long-lead items, Saipem is poised to advance with the remaining project phases. Leveraging its FDS2, Castorone, and Constellation vessels for offshore installation, Saipem will utilize its Guyana Offshore Construction Facility, stationed at the Port of Georgetown, along with an additional local fabrication facility for on-site construction—a testament to its ongoing commitment to sustainable growth within the nation.

The Whiptail project encompasses the development of Whiptail, Pinktail, and Tilapia fields, alongside potential additional resources, contingent upon feasibility and economic viability. The development blueprint entails drilling operations via drillships to extract oil from approximately 40 to 65 production and injection wells. With a projected field lifespan of at least two decades, the project is slated to commence production in 2027.

SBM Offshore is spearheading front end engineering and design (FEED) work for the FPSO Jaguar, earmarked for the Whiptail project. Marking the fifth FPSO commissioned by the Dutch entity for Guyana operations, the FPSO boasts a production capacity of 250,000 barrels of oil per day, with accompanying gas treatment capacity of 540 million cubic feet per day and water injection capacity of 300,000 barrels per day.

Having clinched contracts for ExxonMobil’s previous five projects in Guyana—Liza Phase 1 and Phase 2, Payara, Yellowtail, and Uaru—Saipem continues to underscore its significant presence in the region. Operated by ExxonMobil with a 45% stake, the Stabroek block spans 6.6 million acres or 26,800 square kilometers, with Hess Guyana Exploration having 30% and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana with 25%, serving as partners.


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