The Houston Chronicle

Exxon Mobil’s first oil production vessel has arrived off the coast of Guyana as the United States’ largest oil major prepares for massive growth along the small South American nation.

The Liza Destiny is a floating, production, storage and offloading vessel called an FPSO, that arrived following a 42-day journey from Singapore, where it was built. The 1,115-foot vessel will lead production from 17 wells during the first phase of development, called Liza Phase 1, starting in early 2020.

Along with the booming Permian Basin, Exxon Mobil’s biggest growth ramp-up is focused on deepwater Guyana where Exxon and its partner, New York-based Hess Corp., have announced 13 major discoveries in just a few short years.

Adjacent to oil-rich nations like Brazil and the economically struggling Venezuela, Guyana is a small, nascent energy nation that’s gearing up for its own oil boom.

The Liza Phase 1 development is on track for startup by the first quarter of 2020 and will produce up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day, Exxon and Hess said.

In recent months, Irving-based Exxon Mobil and Hess have increased their reserve estimates offshore of Guyana to nearly 6 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

In May, Exxon authorized the $6 billion Liza Phase 2 project that’s expected to start up by mid-2022. A third development, Payara, should be approved soon.

Exxon Mobil now expects to produce more than 750,000 barrels of oil a day offshore of Guyana by 2025. That’s equal to nearly 20 percent of Exxon’s global oil and gas production today.

The developments are in what’s known as the potentially prolific Stabroek Block spanning 6.6 million acres offshore of Guyana.

Exxon owns a leading 45 percent stake in the project with Hess controlling 30 percent. The remaining 25 percent is owned by the China National Offshore Oil Corp., known as CNOOC.

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