First Lady is ‘godmother’ of third oil platform as production set to ramp up this year


By Neil Marks in Singapore

First Lady Arya Ali has been designated “godmother” of Prosperity, the third oil platform that will operate in Guyanese waters and take production to over 500,000 barrels of oil per day by the end of this year and earn the country an estimated US$1.4 billion in profit oil and another US$252 million in royalties.

Prosperity, a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, was constructed as part of the Payara development, which is the third development within the giant Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. The block is shared by ExxonMobil (45% interest), Hess Corporation (30% interest) and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (25% interest).

At full capacity, the vessel will be able to produce some 220,000 barrels of oil per day and will be able to store an estimated two million barrels of crude. The Payara project area has an estimated 600 million oil-equivalent barrels of crude.

First Lady Mrs Arya Ali is greeted by M Mr. Tian Lixin (President, CNOOC International), at a gala Tuesday ahead of the naming ceremony for the third oil platform that will operate in Guyana. CNOOC has a 25% working interest in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. (Photo: Ameer Ali/Office of the First Lady/January 30, 2023)

The two other vessels operating offshore within the Stabroek Block– the Liza Destiny and the Liza Unity – produced a peak monthly rate of 233,000 barrels per day in December 2022.

The government anticipates that with the three FPSOs operating in the block this year, production will reach 560,000 barrels of oil per day by the end of this year.

Mrs Ali was designated godmother of the Liza Unity but that naming ceremony was held in Georgetown in June 2021 before the vessel set sail for Guyanese waters. But this time around, Mrs Ali has travelled to Singapore for the official naming ceremony which will be held on Wednesday morning.

The Prosperity has been under construction by SBM Offshore since the last quarter of 2020 when the hull was delivered to the Keppel Shipyard in Singapore by the Chinese shipbuilder Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding.

After the naming ceremony, the vessel will sail into Guyanese waters where it will be installed and then leased and operated by SBM Offshore; afterwards it will be handed over to Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), the local subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation, which is the operator of the Stabroek Block.

First Lady Mrs Arya Ali presents a copy of the book ‘Rupununi’ to Hunter Farris, Senior Vice President Deepwater of ExxonMobil Upstream Oil & Gas Company, at the gala ahead of the naming ceremony for the third oil platform that will operate in Guyana. (Photo: Ameer Ali/Office of the First Lady/January 30, 2023)

At a gala held at the Four Seasons hotel on Tuesday evening (Singapore time) ahead of the naming ceremony, Mrs Ali toasted to the success of the venture and interreacted with officials of ExxonMobil, Hess and CNOOC.

At the naming ceremony, Mrs Ali is expected to expound on the significance of the name Prosperity and what a ramp up of oil production would mean for the country and Guyanese.

In total, the Guyana government expects there will be 136 lifts of profit oil this year and Guyana is projected to receive 17 lifts with the others shared by the co-venturers ExxonMobil, Hess and CNOOC.

Based on profits made last year from the two FPSOs, the government will this year be able to use over $1 billion this year, channeled through the budget, on “development priorities” this year, Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh said in his budget speech.

The 2023 budget estimates are currently being examined line by line for approval and eventual passage in the National Assembly.

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