– as PSC urges calm, business as usual for Private Sector
In the face of Venezuela’s illegal threats to annex Essequibo and force existing companies out of the region, United States (US) oil giant ExxonMobil, the operator in the oil-producing Stabroek Block, has made it clear that it is going nowhere.
The company’s subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), made its position known in a social media post that reaffirmed the company’s longstanding commitment to Guyana… a commitment that will include as much as six oil developments online by 2027.
“We are not going anywhere – our focus remains on developing the resources efficiently and responsibly, per our agreement with the Guyanese Government,” ExxonMobil said in its statement.
EEPGL, Exxon’s local subsidiary, is the operator and holds 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block, while Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd holds 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds the remaining 25 per cent interest.
ExxonMobil has said it anticipates at least six projects offshore Guyana will be online by 2027. Production has already started on the Liza Phase 1 and 2 projects, as well as the Payara development. Yellowtail and Uaru, Exxon’s fourth and fifth developments, have already received governmental approval.
The Yellowtail Development Project is set to commence production in 2025 using the “One Guyana” floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, which will yield the largest target of 250,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) during a 20-year period that will generate at least 1300 direct jobs.
Yellowtail, which will be located 126 miles offshore Guyana, includes up to three drill ships drilling up to 67 wells, the FPSO vessel and SURF production system, with tankers taking the oil to global markets. The US$10 billion development project will target an estimated resource base of about 900 million oil-equivalent barrels.
The Uaru project is meanwhile budgeted to cost US$12.683 billion and will be subject to cost recovery under the Stabroek Block Petroleum Sharing Agreement. It is expected to significantly contribute to Guyana’s oil production, with 250,000 barrels of oil per day also targeted.
Exxon’s investments in Guyana also include the approximately 200 kilometres of a subsea pipeline it will be running from the <<<Liza Destiny>>> and <<<Liza Unity>>> floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel in the Stabroek Block to the shore as part of the gas-to-energy project.
ExxonMobil is meanwhile expected to recover the cost of the US$1 billion invested into the pipeline to bring the gas to shore when the Guyana Government sells the gas from the project. This will be done over 20 years and at a fixed annual rate of US$55 million.
Meanwhile, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) also released a statement in which they said they were closely monitoring the recent developments concerning Venezuela’s threat to annex a part of Guyana. In their statement, they sought to reassure the business community.
“We understand that these circumstances may raise concerns within the community, and we wish to reassure the public that every effort is being made to address the situation effectively. In light of these developments, we urge the general public to remain calm, vigilant, and resilient.”
“It is of utmost importance that information is sourced from verified and credible sources to avoid the spread of misinformation. To the business community, we emphasise that operations should continue as usual. We encourage business leaders and investors to maintain confidence in the strength of Guyana’s economy,” they said.
The PSC was meanwhile in high praise of the Guyanese people, who they noted have shown “unity and resilience” during this challenging time. According to the commission, the country must continue to stay informed, calm and focused on its daily activities.
“We believe that by staying informed, calm, and focused on our daily activities, we can collectively contribute to the stability and prosperity of our beloved country. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide updates as necessary. Our thoughts are with all Guyanese as we navigate through these challenges together,” the commission further said.
Over the past few weeks, Guyana has been informing regional and international partners of the referendum Venezuela carried out on December 3, which has been criticised by the United States, Caricom, and the Organisation of American States (OAS), as well as several other nations in the Region, including Brazil, for seeking to, among other things, gain a national consensus to annex Essequibo.
Following the referendum, Maduro announced that he would now authorise oil exploration in Guyana’s Essequibo River, despite the International Court of Justice (ICJ) not yet pronouncing on the validity of Venezuela’s claims.
The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government has been clear that investors should ignore Venezuelan rhetoric, noting that Essequibo has for over 100 years been Guyana’s territory and will continue to belong to Guyana. (G-8)