Exxon Mobil Corp has restored crude output at its nascent project off Guyana's coast after addressing problems with gas reinjection equipment, the South American country's environmental regulator said on Friday.
Output at the offshore Liza field, which Exxon operates in a consortium with Hess Corp and CNOOC Ltd has been restored to between 80,000-90,000 barrels per day (bpd), after falling to between 25,000-30,000 bpd, according to Vincent Adams, head of Guyana's Environmental Protection Agency.
Exxon had slashed output to avoid excessive flaring of natural gas produced alongside crude oil, as the equipment issues prevented it from reinjecting sufficient quantities of the gas back into the reservoir. Plans to build a gas pipeline to Guyana's coast have not yet gotten off the ground.
"Operations remain steady as we work to safely commission the remainder of our gas compression system," Exxon spokesman Todd Spitler said in a statement.
Guyana, a poor country with no history of oil output, joined the ranks of the world's crude producers in December. Exxon and its partners have discovered more than 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent in recoverable resources off the coast, and before the equipment issues had planned for output to rise to 120,000 bpd by June.
(Reporting by Luc Cohen; Additional reporting by Jennifer Hiller in Houston; Editing by Marguerita Choy)