Guyana completes 5th & final lift of 1M barrels of oil for 2021

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Liza Destiny FPSO in Stabroek Block offshore Guyana

Guyana has officially completed its fifth and final oil lift for the year, with a little over one million barrels of oil being lifted from the Liza Destiny Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel and sold by Saudi Aramco.

This was confirmed by Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat, in an exclusive interview with this publication. In fact, he noted that the Government had been aiming for six lifts this year. However, the problems ExxonMobil experienced with its flash gas compressor on board the Liza Destiny, necessitated that sixth lift being pushed back.

“The fifth lift for 2021 was indeed completed last week. That will be the final lift for the year. We were trying to push ahead to have at least six for 2021, but unfortunately, we had the issue as you know with the flash gas compressor. And we had to ask the company to scale down production, to minimise the flaring.”

“So that caused a setback with the sixth lift. Nevertheless, we’ve already engaged the company. And we’re expecting that lift early in 2022. Maybe by January, we’ll have that lift,” the Minister assured.

Saudi Aramco, also known as Aramco Trading Limited (ATL), was awarded the contract to market Guyana’s crude earlier in the year. Guyana’s crude lift share was initially marketed by Shell Western, after which Hess International marketed Guyana’s crude. The Minister explained that this latest lift is Aramco’s second for Guyana.

“We have a contractual agreement with Aramco, who is the company marketing our crude, for the next 12 months. So, this is actually their second lift. The first one was in September. We already received payment, to the tune of over US$80 million. And this is Aramco’s second lift from Liza) Destiny,” Minister Bharrat explained.

The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). Exxon, through subsidiary Esso Exploration Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), is the operator and holds 45 per cent interest in the block. 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.

Guyana, with US oil giant ExxonMobil as the operator, began producing oil on December 20, 2019, in the Stabroek Block. Guyana’s oil revenues are being banked in the New York Federal Reserve Bank, where they are earning interest.

In August, Guyana received payment for its seventh oil lift to the tune of US$79,617,561.87, the largest single oil payment the country has received to date. The Natural Resources Ministry has stated that the aforementioned payment was for 1,047,820 barrels of oil, which was extracted from the Liza Destiny FPSO vessel on July 3, 2021.

The seventh oil lift brought the country’s oil extraction to a grand total of 7,056,262 barrels, and accumulative earnings to US$388,777,840. Guyana received its first payment of US$54.9 million for an oil lift dated February 19, 2020. The second lift, on May 21, 2020, was valued at US$35 million; while the third lift, which occurred on August 9, 2020, was worth US$46 million.

The fourth lift of oil offshore Guyana occurred on December 9, 2020, and came in at US$49.4 million in value. And on February 5, 2021, some 997,420 barrels of oil were lifted from Liza Destiny. A sum of US$61 million was paid for that lift.

During the 31st Sitting of the National Assembly, Bharrat as the subject Minister had reported that this amount plus royalties put the total in Guyana’s Natural Resource Fund (NRF) at US$436 million, which remains untouched. And it has been said that Guyana is likely to end the year with as much as US$600 million in the Natural Resource fund by year end.