Guyana celebrated an indelible step towards its future when government ministers and Exxon executive toasted to the commencement of Liza Phase One development drilling.
ExxonMobil hosted the reception on Tuesday evening at Cara Lodge, Quamina Street. Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman said the reception marked the official start of the countdown towards ‘first oil’.
“Those of us here tonight are the purveyors of hope and happiness,” Minister Trotman said. He added that the discovery of petroleum in May 2015 is a long-awaited chance for Guyana to remove the negative labels “third world” and “backwards”.
“With the blessings that have been revealed, and are within our grasp, we purpose to develop a modern, peaceful and cohesive state. One in which every man, woman and child, without exception, reservation, and or discrimination of any kind, is able to enjoy the full and equal benefits of the bounty we are about to be bestowed,” Minister Trotman toasted.
Guyana is expected to begin oil production in 2020. Vice President of ExxonMobil Development Company, Lisa Waters, said production could start as early as March 2020.
“We are committed to working together for the long term and we continue to look forward to working with the people and government of Guyana,” Waters added.
ExxonMobil and its partners have begun drilling the 17 wells that will produce Guyana’s oil. The Noble Bob Douglas Drillship began drilling in May.
The Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, Liza Destiny, is currently being retrofitted in Singapore and contract for the subsea equipment has been given out, Waters noted.
The Liza Destiny FPSO will have a production capacity of 120,000 barrels of oil per day when production begins. The discoveries made to date in the Stabroek Block is estimated to contain recoverable resources of more than 3.2 billion oil-equivalent barrels of oil.
Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin notes Guyanese remain hopeful about Guyana’s oil future and commended the valuable partnership between the government and Exxon.
“So far, I believe it has been working well I think three years from discovery to development is very short by industry standards and five years from discovery to production is also extremely short by industry standard,” Minister Gaskin said.
Exxon’s Country Manager, Rod Henson, recommitted the company’s efforts to utilise local content in their operations. He said the operation has created 585 new jobs, 52 percent of the local workforce on all aspects of the project. The company also spent $2.8B with Guyanese suppliers in the first quarter of 2018.
By: Tiffny Rhodius.
Images: Jules Gibson.