ExxonMobil and Hess have commenced production at the $9bn Payara oil development on the Stabroek Block, offshore Guyana through the Prosperity floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

A final investment decision (FID) on the project was taken in late 2020. The field is being developed with up to 41 wells at 10 drill centres. Of these, 20 will be production wells and the remaining 21 will be injection wells.

Constructed by SBM Offshore, the Prosperity FPSO is designed to produce up to 220,000 gross barrels of oil per day from the field.

The startup of production at Payara brings the total production capacity on the Stabroek Block to nearly 620,000 barrels per day.

Located about 193km offshore Guyana, the Stabroek Block spans across 6.6 million acres. It is operated by ExxonMobil Guyana with a stake of 45%.

Other stakeholders of the offshore block are Hess Guyana Exploration and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana with 30% and 25% interests, respectively.

Payara is the third of multiple oil developments proposed on the Stabroek Block.

According to Hess, the Prosperity FPSO is moored in water depth of nearly 6,300ft. The FPSO is expected to reach its initial production capacity during H1 2024 after new wells commence production.

A combined production capacity of over 1.2 million barrels per day on the Stabroek Block is estimated to be achieved by the year-end of 2027 from six FPSOs.

Hess CEO John Hess said: “We are proud to be a partner in the successful development of this world class oil resource for the benefit of the people of Guyana and all other stakeholders and congratulate ExxonMobil as operator for outstanding project execution.”

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

The Liza Phase 1 and Liza Phase 2 developments on the Stabroek Block started production in December 2019 and February 2022, respectively.

Together, the two offshore developments have a production capacity of nearly 400,000 gross barrels of oil per day.

Yellowtail and Uaru are the fourth and fifth projects on the block. The two developments are in progress and each will have a production capacity of about 250,000 gross barrels of oil per day.

Currently, ExxonMobil Guyana is working with the Guyanese government to obtain regulatory approvals for a sixth project at Whiptail.

ExxonMobil upstream company president Liam Mallon said: “Each new project supports economic development and access to resources that will benefit Guyanese communities while also helping to meet the world’s energy demand.

“We’re pleased to work in partnership with the Guyanese government to make reliable energy accessible and sustainable.”