Exxon’s Yellowtail field to produce for at least 20 years
– to have up to 55 wells
The Yellowtail development, which will be the second oil field from ExxonMobil’s local subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), is expected to have up to 55 wells and a field life of at least 20 years.
This is according to the documents and project summary that EEPGL submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where it is currently seeking environmental approval to undertake the development.
According to the project summary, the development will be located approximately 200 kilometres from Georgetown and will feature between 45 and 55 wells. The Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility will have between 200,000 and 250,000 barrels of oil per day.
“The production facilities to be installed include subsea equipment attached to the seafloor as well as processing equipment on the ocean’s surface FPSO vessel. The subsurface equipment is installed at approximately 1,700 – 1,950 m of water depth. The main pieces of kit in the subsurface include the following: production tree, production manifold, flowlines, risers, and umbilicals,” it was explained.
“The subsurface umbilical’s, risers, and flowlines are commonly referred to as SURF. The oil, gas, and water flows from the well into the production tree. The fluids are then gathered into the manifold which then connects to the flowlines before the risers take the fluids up to the FPSO for further processing. The umbilical lines support production by providing real time control of the subsea installation from the surface by delivering fluids to facilitate the flow of hydrocarbons.”
There were also assurances given, as it relates to flaring. Cognisant of the compressor problems that have plagued the Liza Destiny Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, which services the Liza-1 development, Exxon stated that it is committed to doing business that does not infringe on environmental and other considerations.
“EEPGL committed to conducting business in a manner that is compatible with the environmental and economic needs of the communities in which it operates and that protects the safety, security, and health of its employees, those involved with its operations, its customers, and the public,” the company says in the document.
It was recently revealed that an application for the Yellowtail oil development was being reviewed by the EPA, which has invited members of the public to make submissions on the project within 28 days. According to the EPA, EEPGL submitted an application for environmental authorisation to undertake the Yellowtail development.
“The proposed project will be implemented in multiple stages including: wells drilling and completions, mobilization and installation of subsea equipment, umbilical’s, risers and flowlines (SURF); installation of a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility, production operations; offloading of crude and decommissioning and use of support vessels and helicopters throughout the stages,” the EPA had explained.
“The proposed project will be undertaken in the marine offshore environment within Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and would also utilize land-based support activities such as marine shore bases, fabrication facilities, warehouses, and storage yards.”
According to the EPA, the project could have an impact on the environment, including on marine water quality, air quality, marine fauna, and socio-economic resources, among others. As a consequence, and in keeping with the Environmental Protection Act, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be carried out.
It is meanwhile expected that the Field Development Plan (FDP) for Yellowtail will be submitted later this year. This was recently revealed by Hess Chief Operating Officer (COO) Greg Hill. Hill, whose company is a co-venture partner of ExxonMobil in the Stabroek Block, was at the time taking part in the 2021 first-quarter earnings call.
The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). 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.
ExxonMobil has said it anticipates at least six projects offshore Guyana will be online by 2027. Already, the oil major has established an ambitious oil exploration plan for 2021 offshore Guyana.