Jaguar is 6th FPSO, earmarked for Whiptail project

– UK firm Bayphase reviewing Field Development Plan

The sixth FPSO will be named after Guyana’s national animal

The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government has confirmed that the sixth Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel earmarked for the Whiptail project, will be dubbed the Jaguar FPSO.
According to Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat during a recent press conference, by the time this FPSO comes online in 2027, Guyana expects to be producing as much as 1.2 million barrels of oil per day.
“How will we achieve that? As I mentioned the third FPSO is producing now. Sometime early next year. And we will be at 620,000 barrels per day, the current figures right now. We’ve already signed production licences for Uaru and Yellowtail. Yellowtail One Guyana FPSO is under construction,” he said.
“And that is expected to arrive in Guyana sometime next year. If possible, we can get a startup next year too. That would be in our favour. Hopefully by early 2025, we could get a startup of the Yellowtail One Guyana FPSO.”
Following the One Guyana FPSO, the next FPSO expected to come online for the Uaru project is the Errea Witte FPSO. This FPSO is named after a Warrau word that means abundance, according to the Minister, and is expected to start up in 2027.
“And then we expect, once everything goes well with the approval process and the process that we’re currently in with Whiptail, the sixth FPSO, the Jaguar FPSO. And [that] will be for the Whiptail development,” the Minister explained.
Meanwhile, he further explained that British consultant firm Bayphase, which played a key role in the crafting of the production licence for Uaru, will also be retained to work on the Whiptail Field Development Plan (FDP). According to the Minister, “we already have the consultant who has worked on the last licence, which is Uaru, and who has been retained for the period to continue working on Whiptail”.
ExxonMobil had approached the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval of Whiptail, its sixth project in the Stabroek Block, early this year. According to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the project will target between 33 and 72 wells. The documents further detailed that development drilling is expected to last from late 2024 or early 2025 through mid-2030, with the possibility of extending it as late as 2031.
Installation of subsea components of the project is meanwhile slated to begin in the second half of 2025 or early 2026. The installation of the FPSO as well as commissioning and start-up, are expected to occur in 2027. The life of the project is expected to last for at least 20 years.
According to the US oil company, the project will employ over 500 persons during drilling and installation. Additionally, between 100 and 180 persons will be employed during production. It was further explained that the Whiptail FPSO will be similar to the one for Yellowtail and will be designed to target 300,000 barrels per day.
When it comes to any potential impacts from the project, the EIA stated that the project would not disturb any natural onshore habitats since it is taking place over 195 kilometres off the coast. However, it stated that the project may potentially have a meaningful impact on water quality, climate, and certain marine biological and socio-economic resources.
However, mitigation measures were included in the assessment for the EPA to peruse. Meanwhile, the EPA had issued a notice in August inviting citizens to submit any concerns they may have about the project, within 60 days.
The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometres). Exxon, through its local subsidiary Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), holds 45 per cent interest in the block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd had had 30 per cent interest, which it recently sold to Chevron. CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds the remaining 25 per cent interest.
ExxonMobil has said it anticipated at least six projects offshore Guyana, including the Whiptail project, will be online by 2027. Production has already started on the Liza Phase 1 and 2 projects, as well as the third development, Payara. Yellowtail and Uaru, Exxon’s fourth and fifth developments, have already received governmental approval. (G3)