Exxon Mobil and its partners are set to invest more than $4.4bn on the first phase of development of the Liza field, located on the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, upon receipt of regulatory approval from the government of Guyana.

The Liza Phase 1 development includes the development of drilling, operation of the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel designed to produce up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day and a subsea production system.

Out of the total $4.4bn, $3.2bn will be spent on drilling and subsea infrastructure and $1.2bn will be used for the lease capitalization of the FPSO facility, which will process approximately 450 million barrels of oil.

Production from the Liza field, one of the largest oil discoveries of the past decade, is expected to begin by 2020, Exxon said.

Liza deepwater field is located in Stabroek block, 190 km offshore Guyana, located  at an water depth of between 1,500m to 1,900m.

Esso Exploration and Production Guyana, an ExxonMobil affiliate is the operator and holds a 45% stake in the Stabroek Block, which spans 26,800 km2. Hess Guyana Exploration holds 30% interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana holds the remaining 25%.

ExxonMobil Development president Liam Mallon said that they are excited about the tremendous potential of the Liza field and accelerating first production through a phased development in a lower cost environment.

“We will work closely with the government, our co-venturers and the Guyanese people in developing this world-class resource that will have long-term and meaningful benefits for the country and its citizens.”

The Texas-based multinational oil and gas corporation has also announced positive results from Liza-4 well, which encountered more than 197 feet of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs, which will underpin a potential Liza Phase 2 development.

The gross recoverable resources for the Stabroek block are now estimated at 2 billion to 2.5 billion oil equivalent barrels, including Liza and other successful exploration wells on Liza Deep, Payara and Snoek.

Hess’ share of development costs is estimated to be around $955m out of which the company has earmarked $110m it its capital and exploratory budget of 2017.

It will allocate about $250m in 2018 and approximately $330m while the remaining amount will be spent between 2020 and 2021.

Hess Corporation CEO John Hess said: “Development of the world class Liza resource with a low cost, phased approach accelerates first production and positions us to deliver significant value to our shareholders.

“We look forward to working with our partners and with the Government of Guyana on this important project.”

Image: The stena carron drill ship drills an exploration well offshore guyana. Photo courtesy of © 2013-2017 Hess Corporation