Exxon set to begin oil production in Guyana in 2020

Exxon Country Manager Rod Henson

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Oil and gas giant ExxonMobil says it’s likely to commence oil production in Guyana by March 2020.

Exxon’s Country Manager Rod Henson made the disclosure during a recent press conference where contents of the Stabroek Petroleum Agreement between the oil company and the Government of Guyana were shared.

Guyana and ExxonMobil entered into an agreement in July 2016, which will see the CARICOM nation receiving a 50/50 profit and a two percent royalty. Oil from just the Liza Phase One could be over US$1.5 billion after five years and over US$7 billion over the life of the project.

“We are estimating around March 2020 right now. That’s when production will start, and it will be somewhere between 100,000 and 120,000 barrels a day and we continue to try to accelerate on that…We are trying to do this as we safely can,” Henson told journalists.

The oil production in 2020 will represent only a fraction of the Liza field, she said.

“Liza One was the discovery well and since then we drilled Liza Two, Three and Four which helped us to appraise the size of the field Phase One is going to include 17 wells actually. It will develop part, not all, of the Liza field.”

Meanwhile, defending the US$18 million bonus paid to the Guyana government and the company’s hesitation to make that detail public, Henson reminded that the oil industry is a competitive one, where commercial information is not generally disclosed.

“It is a matter of policy that we don’t talk about what’s in our agreement unless everybody does. We certainly support transparency; that is why we are an active member of organizations like EITI [Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative]….Through that organization, we ensure all is disclosed equally. We are a commercial enterprise and we have competitors and learning bits of information about how other negotiations have worked or how our negotiations work, the things that we value provide kind of intellectual property to competitors,” he explained.

Adding to the conversation, Exxon’s Senior Director, Public and Government Affairs Kimberly Brassington explained that the company only discloses details of its contracts at the lead of the respective governments.

“We follow the lead of the government. If that’s a policy of the law, we absolutely comply with that. In this case, it was not the practice. It is now, and the contract is full disclosure,” she said