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Exxon Forced To Curtail Production In Guyana

Exxon has reduced its crude oil production at the Liza offshore field in Guyana due to the risk of excessive flaring, according to the South American country’s regulator, as quoted by Reuters.

Gas flaring has been a problem at the Liza field, prompting an environmentalist group to call on the supermajor in May to stop flaring as the emissions this caused exceeded the country’s total emissions produced over three months, according to Guyanese daily Stabroek News.

“Flaring of 9 billion cubic feet of natural gas is more Co2 emissions than what the whole of Guyana would have used in three months – the entire country,” the president of the organization—the Center for International Environmental Law—told the daily.

The same publication reported in May that Exxon had assured the Guyanese environmental protection agency it will stop flaring after those 2 billion cubic meters, which were flared at the startup phase of the Liza project. Instead, the company said, it will reinject the gas into the well.

Now it seems there have been problems with the gas reinjection equipment, according to the Reuters report, which has prompted a production cut to 25,000 to 30,000 bpd last week. This is down from 75,000 to 80,000 bpd a month earlier. The June average was planned to be raised to 120,000 bpd, although how good an idea production growth would have been in the current price situation is an open question.

Guyana rose to fame in the oil industry after Exxon, in partnership with Hess Corp., made a string of discoveries off its coast that tapped reserves estimated at more than 5 billion barrels.

Commercial production began ahead of schedule. It was originally planned for the first quarter of this year, eventually reaching a daily production rate of 120,000 bpd, but instead the Liza-1 well was up and running in December 2019.

During the second phase of development of the Liza discovery, production should rise to 220,000 bpd. By 2025, total production from the Stabroek Block, according to Exxon, should be some 750,000 bpd, according to pre-crisis plans.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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