ExxonMobil increases production to 100,000 – 110,000 barrels per day
…compressor still to be fixed
ExxonMobil has announced that oil production, which had dropped to some 30,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) following the re-emergence of compressor problems on board the Liza Destiny, has since been increased to between 100,000 and 110,000 barrels per day.
According to a statement from the company’s Public and Governance Affairs Advisor Janelle Persaud, teams on the Liza Destiny Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel have removed the discharge silencer from the compressor for further assessment of the damage.
“We estimate that repairs or replacement will take approximately three months. Additionally, plans initiated in 2020 are progressing to install a redesigned third stage flash gas compression system at the end of this year,” Persaud said.
When it comes to flaring, which had been dropped to between 4 and 5 million cubic feet of gas per day after the recent problems with the compressor, Persaud explained that the current increased production figures would be accompanied by a flare level of no more than 15 million cubic feet of gas per day.
“These operating parameters were defined after careful consideration of safety, environmental, technical and economic factors, as well as discussions with the relevant Government agencies on the best path forward while repairs and upgrades are ongoing,” she said in the statement.
“ExxonMobil Guyana is extremely disappointed by these ongoing technical challenges, but we are proud of the team offshore that continues to work safely and manage operations efficiently during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to work with the relevant parties to rectify the situation as soon as possible.”
Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon, who had expressed concerns over the troubled gas compressor on the Liza Destiny FPSO vessel, had previously requested a meeting with the local executives of United States oil giant ExxonMobil, to be briefed on the matter.
According to Persaud, a meeting is being arranged, and could even happen as early as today.
Last week, Exxon had revealed that as it was conducting the final testing phase of the reinstalled flash gas compressor and other components of the system on the <<Liza Destiny>> FPSO, it encountered an additional problem with the discharge silencer.
The US oil giant noted that a team from SBM Offshore, Germany manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions and ExxonMobil was on site to assess repairs with support from engineering experts in Europe and the USA.
“We have reduced production to a minimum level that mitigates formation of hydrates in subsea systems, maintains gas injection and fuels gas to the power generators, and minimises flare,” the company said.
When asked, Persaud had revealed that this means the company is producing some 30,000 bpd – a reduction from an initial 120,000 bpd. This reduction, she noted, has the potential to throw off Exxon’s next lift, which was scheduled for the next few days.
When asked about the volume of flaring in light of the production cuts, Persaud had disclosed that flaring was now at 4 to 5 million cubic feet of gas per day, slightly above pilot levels.
Excess flaring had previously averaged 16 million cubic feet of gas per day following the compressor malfunction in February.
The Guyana Government had subsequently expressed disappointment over the failure to resolve the issues with the gas compressor on its oil platform, which has not only led to heightened flaring, but now a sharp drop in production as well. As such, it has hinted at possible actions against the oil company.
In a statement, the Ministry of Natural Resources said “The GoG is, as would be expected, highly disappointed with the Operator’s inability to resolve this situation to date, and will continue to monitor the levels of daily crude oil output and flaring to best allow for an economically feasible level of production during this period. The GoG is currently examining the implications of the loss of output, and consequently loss of income and revenue, including measures that it may have to institute to protect national interest.”
Nevertheless, the Ministry noted that this occurrence has not affected GoG’s crude oil lift, which was safely and successfully completed the day before at the planned quantity and in keeping with the Crude Lifting Agreement and Lifting Schedule. That was Government’s second lift for 2021.
Moreover, Exxon’s reduced production was announced the same day that Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat was quoted as projecting Guyana producing 1 million barrels of crude per day and leading the Western Hemisphere in oil production.
“By 2027, we are hoping that there will be at least seven floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels in the country, and that we will be producing either close or even over 1 million b/d,” Minister Bharrat had said. (G3)