US$9B Payara project is single largest investment ever made in Guyana

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The US$9 billion Payara development will target an estimated resource base of about 600 million oil-equivalent barrels and is considered to be the largest single investment ever made in Guyana.

The project in the Stabroek Block is expected to produce up to 220,000 barrels of oil per day after startup in 2024, using the Prosperity floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

Guyana is currently producing around 100,000 barrels of oil per day, but it is expected that within the next few years production will surpass one million, making the country one of the largest oil producers in the region.

After a tedious review process, on Wednesday, the Government of Guyana and ExxonMobil signed the license for the Payara field offshore development in Guyana.

Payara is the third Field Development Plan (FDP) from Exxon to gain approval. The first FDP that the Guyana Government approved was for Liza Phase One, while Liza Phase Two is expected to start up in 2022.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Payara project approval was a result of “several reviews and consultations by local and international experts”.

Prior to the approval, the Government of Guyana had decided to review the work already undertaken by the Department of Energy and Bayphase Oil and Gas Consultants on the Payara Project so that the interest of all Guyanese is protected and in keeping with international transparency and accountability standards.

Most importantly, the Ministry noted, is that the Canadian funded team of technical experts assessed the project to ensure that all relevant regulations are complied with and that they can be enforced.  “This included environmental standards and reservoir management to safeguard the interests of the people of Guyana and that their resources are developed in a sustainable and responsible manner to the benefit of the country”.

The Government has said that it remains committed to manage and harvest Guyana’s oil and gas resources sustainably “in keeping with internationally recognised acceptable environmental standards and transparency for the benefit of all Guyanese”.

Just recently, Miguel Moyano, Executive Secretary of Arpel, a leading regional industry oil and gas association, suggested that with oil production expected to tip one million barrels of oil per day in the coming years, Guyana is heading to become a petroleum powerhouse in the region.

“Guyana, together with [Argentine unconventional formation] Vaca Muerta, I think are the game-changers of our region,” Moyano, a petroleum expert said during a BNamericas webinar.

According to Arpel, the emergence of Guyana as an oil producing nation is interesting and exciting, as since the beginning of major oil discoveries here, oil companies around the world have been paying keen attention to how the country is developing its oil resources.

US oil giant, Exxon has estimated that there are eight billion barrels of recoverable reserves in the Stabroek Block. From the Liza Phase One, Guyana has received well over US$100 million in cargo lift and royalty payments.

The Government has promised that funds from the country’s oil resources will go towards developing modern infrastructures and ensuring that citizens benefit from improved social services.