ExxonMobil and its partner Hess have taken a final investment decision (FID) on the $12.7bn Uaru oil project in the Stabroek block in Guyanese waters.

The FID decision follows the receipt of the necessary government and regulatory approvals in Guyana.

Uaru will be the fifth project in the Stabroek block.

In January 2020, ExxonMobil made an oil discovery at the Uaru-1 well. The following year, in April, the drilling of the Uaru-2 well, located nearly 11km from Uaru-1, also yielded an oil discovery.

The Uaru field development project includes up to 10 drill centers and 44 production and injection wells with an aim to exploit an estimated resource of over 800 million barrels of oil.

With a targeted production startup in 2026, the offshore Guyanese field is estimated to add nearly 250,000 barrels of daily capacity.

ExxonMobil upstream president Liam Mallon said: “Our fifth, multi-billion-dollar investment in Guyana exemplifies ExxonMobil’s long-term commitment to the country’s sustained economic growth.

“Our Guyana investments and unrivalled development success continue to contribute to secure, reliable global energy supplies at this critical time.”

The Uaru oil project will produce through the Errea Wittu floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, which is being constructed by MODEC.

Production in the Stabroek block is currently being carried out from the Liza phase 1 and phase 2 developments, which yielded an average of 375,000 gross barrels of oil per day in Q1 2023.

The third approved project on the block is Payara, which is slated to begin production in Q4 2023. It is expected to have a gross daily production capacity of around 220,000 barrels of oil.

Yellowtail is the fourth sanctioned field development project on the Stabroek block.

Anticipated to commence production in 2025, the Payara project is estimated to have a gross production capacity of nearly 250,000 barrels of oil per day.

The Stabroek block partners expect to submit an application for a sixth development project at the Whiptail field later this year for seeking the necessary government and regulatory approval.

By the end of 2027, the Stabroek block is likely to see six FPSOs producing over 1.2 million barrels of oil per day.

ExxonMobil’s affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana has an operating stake of 45% in the Guyanese concession. Its partners include Hess Guyana Exploration (30%) and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana (25%).

Hess CEO John Hess said: “We look forward to continuing to work with the Government of Guyana and our partners to realise the remarkable potential of this world class resource for the benefit of all stakeholders.

“The world will need these vital oil resources to meet future energy demand and help ensure an affordable, just and secure energy transition.”

Earlier this week, ExxonMobil and Hess announced another oil discovery in the Stabroek following the drilling of the Lancetfish-1 well.