Italy’s engineering, drilling, and construction services provider Saipem has tucked under its belt two new offshore contracts worth approximately $1.9 billion for work with ExxonMobil’s subsidiary ExxonMobil Guyana Limited and Equinor. As a result, the Italian player will carry out operations for the U.S. oil major in Guyana while the assignment with the Norwegian state-owned energy giant is in Brazil.
According to Saipem, the first contract has been awarded for the proposed Whiptail oilfield development, which is the sixth project located in the Stabroek block offshore Guyana, at a water depth of approximately 2,000 meters. ExxonMobil is working with the government of Guyana to secure regulatory approvals for this project. Based on the new contract award, the Italian giant’s scope of work for the Whiptail project covers the design, fabrication, and installation of subsea structures, risers, flowlines, and umbilicals for a large subsea production facility.
Furthermore, Saipem will perform operations using its vessels FDS2, Constellation, and Castorone. The company’s Guyana Offshore Construction Facility located at the Port of Georgetown, will be deployed as a key fabrication site for the firm’s execution model, enhancing a sustainable steady growth in the country. This contract win will allow the Italian player to begin some limited activities, such as detailed engineering, and procurement, subject to the necessary government approvals, the project sanction by ExxonMobil Guyana Limited and its Stabroek block coventurers, and an authorization to proceed with the final phase.
The Whiptail project will enable the development of the Whiptail, Pinktail, and Tilapia fields, along with potential additional resources, if determined to be feasible and economically viable. The current development plans for the project entail drilling via drillships to produce oil from approximately 40 – 65 production and injection wells. The project is expected to come online between 4Q 2027 and 2Q 2028 with an expected field life of at least twenty years.
Recently, SBM Offshore got its hands on a contract to perform front end engineering and design (FEED) for an FPSO vessel, which is destined to work on ExxonMobil’s sixth deepwater oil development project on the Stabroek block. This will be the fifth FPSO built by the Dutch player for operations in Guyana.
Based on ExxonMobil’s plans, six FPSOs with a gross production capacity of more than 1.2 million barrels of oil per day are expected to be online on the Stabroek block by the end of 2027, with the potential for up to ten FPSOs to develop the estimated gross discovered recoverable resources of more than 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
The Stabroek block covers 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometers) and is operated by ExxonMobil’s affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana with a 45% interest. The company’s partners in the block are Hess Guyana Exploration (30%) and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana (25%).