SBM Offshore Confirms Giant FPSO Contract Award for Exxon's Yellowtail Project in Guyana

For Illustration - Liza Unity is Guyana's second FPSO in production. - Image Credit: SBM Offshore
For Illustration - Liza Unity is Guyana's second FPSO in production. - Image Credit: SBM Offshore

SBM Offshore, a Dutch company that designs, builds, installs, and operates FPSO units, has confirmed the receipt of a firm order from ExxonMobil for the fourth and largest FPSO to be deployed offshore Guyana.

The FPSO will be designed to produce 250,000 barrels of oil per day, will have an associated gas treatment capacity of 450 million cubic feet per day, and a water injection capacity of 300,000 barrels per day. The FPSO will be spread moored in a water depth of about 1,800 meters and will be able to store around 2 million barrels of crude oil.

The order confirmation comes after ExxonMobil on Monday sanctioned the $10 billion Yellowtail oil field development, located in the giant Stabroek block offshore Guyana.

Under the contracts with Exxon, SBM Offshore will construct, install and then lease and operate the FPSO, to be named ONE GUYANA, for a period of up to two years, after which the FPSO ownership and operation will transfer to ExxonMobil.

 The award follows the completion of front-end engineering and design studies, receipt of requisite government approvals, and the final investment decision on the project by ExxonMobil and blocks co-venturers Hess and CNOOC.

The Yellowtail development is the fourth development within the Stabroek block, sitting around 200 kilometers offshore Guyana. ExxonMobil is the operator and holds a 45 percent interest in the Stabroek block, Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds a 30 percent interest, and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds a 25 percent interest.

The FPSO ONE GUYANA’s design is based on SBM Offshore’s Fast4Ward program that involves SBM Offshore's new build, multi-purpose floater hull combined with several standardized topsides modules. SBM Offshore orders these hulls in China without contracts secured so that when it does secure a contract, the FPSO delivery time is shorter.

SBM Offshore said that the turnkey phase of the project is executed by a special purpose company (SPC) established by SBM Offshore and McDermott. SBM Offshore holds 70% and McDermott holds 30% equity ownership in this SPC. The FPSO will be fully owned by SBM Offshore. The company did not share details on the value of the deal with ExxonMobil.

First oil is expected in 2025. This will be the fourth FPSO deployed in Guyana's Stabroek block, and the fourth delivered by SBM Offshore, after Liza Destiny, Liza Unity, and the under-construction Prosperity.

Hess said Monday that at least six FPSOs with a production capacity of more than 1 million gross barrels of oil per day are expected to be online on the Stabroek Block in 2027, with the potential for up to 10 FPSOs to develop gross discovered recoverable resources of more than 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

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