Factbox: Offshore Discoveries Turn Tiny Guyana into Oil Hotspot

A string of offshore oil discoveries has turned Guyana, a tiny South American country with fewer than 800,000 people, into one of the hottest exploration and production frontiers in decades.

Since 2015, oil companies operating off its coast have found more than 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas, a tenth of the world's conventional discoveries.

A consortium with Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), Hess Corp (HES.N), and CNOOC Ltd expect to produce 1 million barrels of oil and gas per day by the end of the decade.

Here are some of the key exploration areas, projects, and estimated output in Guyana:

BLOCKS:

- Stabroek block. A 6.6-million-acre (26,800 sq km) offshore area controlled by Exxon, Hess, and CNOOC, which have disclosed more than 20 discoveries since 2015.

- Corentyne and Demerara blocks. A combined area of about 2.5 million acres being explored by Canadian-registered CGX Energy (OYL.V) and Frontera Energy (FEC.TO). CGX said in early 2022 it found an oil and gas reservoir at Corentyne and would concentrate efforts there while suspending planned drilling at Demerara this year.


PROJECTS:

- Liza 1. A development that began crude output in late 2019 and is producing up to 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) from its Liza Destiny floating production vessel.

- Liza 2. Began production in February and is expected to reach up to 220,000 bpd at full capacity. It is using a new production vessel, the Liza Unity that arrived in Guyanese waters in 2021.

- Payara. A discovery disclosed in January 2017 with start-up due in mid-2023 and first oil expected about six months later. It will use a new production vessel, the Prosperity, that would be able to pump up to 220,000 bpd.


- Yellowtail. The 13th discovery at the Stabroek block. Its development plan calls for up to 67 wells and a fourth floating facility able to produce up to 250,000 bpd. It would bring the Exxon-led group's output to about 810,000 bpd. An environmental license is pending to be issued by the government to green-light the project.

- Uaru. A fifth potential project at the Stabroek block. An application to pursue it could be submitted to Guyana by year-end. Its estimated output has not been disclosed, but Exxon said expected production surpasses 800,000 bpd by the end of 2025 and 1 million bpd by the end of the decade.

(Reporting by Gary McWilliams and Marianna Parraga Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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