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SBM Offshore Secures Contract for Fifth FPSO in ExxonMobil's Guyana Ventures

SBM Offshore, a Dutch FPSO operator, has secured a contract to undertake front-end engineering and design (FEED) for an FPSO vessel set to operate on ExxonMobil's sixth deepwater oil development venture in the Stabroek block offshore Guyana. This marks the fifth FPSO project that SBM Offshore has undertaken for operations in Guyana.


The award of the FEED contract has prompted ExxonMobil Guyana Limited, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, to release initial funds for commencing FEED activities. Additionally, it secures a Fast4Ward hull for the execution of the Whiptail development project in Guyana, as clarified by SBM Offshore on October 13, 2023.



Upon successful FEED completion and government approvals for the development plan in Guyana, project sanctioning will follow, including ExxonMobil's final investment decision for the second phase of work. SBM Offshore will then proceed to design and construct the FPSO using its Fast4Ward program and allocate its seventh new build multi-purpose floater hull, along with standardized topsides modules.


Bruno Chabas, Chief Executive Officer of SBM Offshore, expressed, "We are delighted to announce that ExxonMobil Guyana has awarded the contract for the fifth FPSO from SBM Offshore in Guyana. This project exemplifies the value our industry-leading Fast4Ward program brings to our clients and stakeholders while delivering environmentally efficient energy to the world."


Upon completion of construction and before the commencement of operations in Guyana, ownership of the FPSO will be transferred to ExxonMobil. The construction costs will be partly covered by senior loans, which will be repaid upon the vessel's transfer to the oil major.


SBM Offshore will also be responsible for the installation of the FPSO, which will be anchored in water approximately 1,630 meters deep and capable of storing around 2 million barrels of crude oil. The FPSO is designed to produce 250,000 barrels of oil per day, with a gas treatment capacity of 540 million cubic feet per day and a water injection capacity of 300,000 barrels per day.


Furthermore, SBM Offshore will operate the FPSO using its integrated operations and maintenance model, leveraging insights and operational excellence from its units currently deployed in Guyana. ExxonMobil's project plans involve third-party oil tankers to offload oil from the FPSO for export to the international market. Additionally, the FPSO will process, dehydrate, compress, and reinject associated gas produced from the reservoir.


For this latest FPSO project, SBM Offshore will draw on its experience from previous projects, such as the Liza Destiny, Liza Unity, Prosperity, and One Guyana FPSOs, while continuing its commitment to local content development in Guyana through local fabrication and the integration of Guyanese engineers into the execution and operational teams.


About the Whiptail Development:


The Whiptail development project will encompass the Whiptail, Pinktail, and Tilapia fields, along with the exploration of potential additional resources, pending feasibility and economic viability assessments. This project is situated in the southeastern section of the Stabroek block, approximately 183 kilometers from Georgetown and adjacent to previous Stabroek projects on Guyana's Continental Shelf.


The current development plans include drilling via drillships to extract oil from approximately 40 to 65 production and injection wells. Production is expected to commence between the fourth quarter of 2027 and the second quarter of 2028, with an anticipated field life of at least twenty years.


ExxonMobil envisions that the project will contribute up to 275,000 barrels of oil per day to the existing daily production volumes in Guyana, with associated revenues benefiting the government of Guyana and fostering increased opportunities for Guyanese involvement in the petroleum industry.


The operator underscores that the Whiptail project has been designed to minimize routine flaring of associated gas, utilizing the gas for fuel or reinjecting it into reservoirs to enhance oil recovery. This design aligns with ExxonMobil's commitment to support the World Bank's initiative to eliminate routine flaring of associated gas by 2030. However, certain types of flaring may be necessary for safety and operational reasons.


The Stabroek block covers 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometers) and is operated by ExxonMobil's affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana, with a 45% interest. Hess Guyana Exploration holds a 30% interest, and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana has a 25% interest.


According to ExxonMobil's plans, by the end of 2027, six FPSOs with a total production capacity of over 1.2 million barrels of oil per day are anticipated to be operational on the Stabroek block. This supports the development of the estimated gross discovered recoverable resources of over 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent, with potential for up to ten FPSOs in the future.

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