(Guyana Chronicle) – THE Yannis P, a Marshall Islands-registered crude oil tanker will this weekend lift the first one million barrels of crude from the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, according to Liam Mallon, President of Exxon Mobil upstream oil and gas.
He made this disclosure on Friday night at a cocktail party at the Marriott Hotel to celebrate ‘first-oil’. Guyana’s official celebration of first oil coincides with the first lift from the Liza Destiny.
Mallon said that along with the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, there are four more drilling vessels drilling, and a fleet of 20 vessels supporting them.
He gave credit to everyone involved in the process.
“One of these drill ships, they are about the size of a football field, or in Guyana, a cricket field. They are huge, and the bridge is a hi-tech area where they keep this drill ship positioned at 2,000 meters to within the circle of probably a couple of meters. But we were up there, and we were talking to the crew, and they said that was the most absolutely stunning thing to them. And this crew has been here for four years,” Mallon said, adding: “They said four years ago when we looked at the radar, we would see maybe every now and again a ship going past. But now, it’s like a city lit up at night; it’s incredible.”
The senior Exxon official said that after 35 years of being involved in the oil and gas sector, it is an emotional event.
“To see our people in action, to see what they do every day, to observe how they do it, and the incredible way they do it with such passion is for me inspirational,” Mallon said.
He said one has to be extremely lucky to be part of the oil and gas industry.
“I just can’t express what it’s like to have the opportunity to be a part if this. But the people of this country, with the partners, with our contractors, with our employees, this is a unique opportunity. And I would seriously encourage you to dwell on it as that. And it’s the first ever of many to come in the country,” Mallon said.
Exxon’s performance in Guyana, he said, was above the average industry performance.
“The average time in water of this depth, from discovery to first oil, is nine years. This was done in five,” Mallon said, adding: “Not only was it done in five, and those benefits directly accrued to the people of Guyana and the government and those in partnership. But it was done safely, and it was done below the cost we expected when we first started.”
The success, he said, resulted from a great partnership with all stakeholders.
“I have never seen a team that has pulled together like this,” he said. The project team was compelled to initiate first oil within a specified framework, although the industry benchmark was double.
“But if we put people on the moon; we can put first oil in Guyana in three years. You got to set an aspirational goal, and this team has more than stood up to that aspiration,” Mallon said.
He said this is only the first of many exciting milestones to come.
Acting Prime Minister Khemraj Ramjattan said first oil in Guyana is a moment of great national pride.
“It is a time for deep reflection and serious leadership,” he said, adding: “Up to this moment and beyond requires tremendous investment from everyone involved. We Guyanese must rise to that challenge by working collaboratively with world-class companies like Exxon and partners.” He said that very few nations will have the opportunity to witness and experience what Guyana will have now and in the future.
Guyana has passed 11 pieces of legislation and regulations to prepare for first oil.
“These important documents of policy and law support all stakeholders, in order to realise certainty and the best value for the people of this great nation in the shortest possible time, Minister Ramjattan said. “Undoubtedly, we could not be celebrating first oil without a truly herculean effort of all involved,” he added.
Dr. Mark Bynoe, Director of the Department of Energy, said that ever since 1750, Dutch explorers have sought to find petrochemicals in Guyana, and after generations of Guyanese and 20 companies looking for oil, that “dream” has been finally realised.
President and General Manager of ExxonMobil’s Esso Exploration and Production Guyana, Rod Henson said that reaching this milestone of production is the culmination of strong partnerships working together.
“With 15 discoveries to date, and ongoing exploration and development, we are continuing to partner with Guyana to develop its oil and gas resources in a responsible and mutually beneficial way, so that our activities have a positive impact on the people of this country,” Henson said.
ExxonMobil initiated oil and gas exploration activities in 2008, and in May 2015, the company announced it had discovered oil in commercial quantities at the Liza 1 well.