Exxon’s Yellowtail oil development project targets 250,000 bpd
…to be Guyana’s single largest oil development to date – project documents
The Yellowtail development, which will be oil giant ExxonMobil’s fourth development in Guyana’s waters, will turn out to be the single largest development so far in terms of barrels per day (bpd) of oil, with a mammoth 250,000 bpd targeted.
This is according to the documents and project summary that ExxonMobil’s local subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), from whom it is currently seeking environmental approval to undertake the development.
“Yellowtail will be designed to add up to 39,747 m3 (250,000 barrels) of oil a day to existing daily production volumes in Guyana with the associated additional revenues to the Government of Guyana while continuing a steady expansion of opportunities for Guyanese to participate in the petroleum industry,” the application states.
There are 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 states 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, mobilisation and installation of subsea equipment, umbilicals, 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 utilise 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.
“An EIA is required to be conducted before any decision to approve or reject the proposed project is taken, since this development may significantly impact the environment. Members of the public are hereby invited, within twenty-eight (28) days of this notice, to make written submissions to the Agency, setting out those questions and matters which they require to be answered or considered in the EIA,” the EPA had said.
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.
While the operator is slated to submit the FDP later this year, Hill had explained that for now, design work and front-end engineering, the process of establishing project costs and potential risks, are ongoing on the prospective oilfield.
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.