Guyana’s environmental protection agency has given final approval for the Uaru project, paving the way for the Exxon-led consortium to begin work on the project once the public comment period has successfully concluded.
With a price tag of $12.7 billion, the Uaru project will be the most expensive that ExxonMobil and its partners have undertaken so far in Guyana. The field is thought to have 800 million barrels in recoverable crude oil reserves and could produce as much as 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil once it comes online in 2026.
ExxonMobil, the maker of the Mobil slideway oil range, has targeted Guyana as a major growth area for production, along with the US shale basins. The consortium’s production in Guyana is expected to reach 400,000 bpd by the end of this year, and it is aiming to reach 1.2 million bpd by the end of 2027.
The environmental permit does come with some reasonable conditions attached, which the Government agency says:
“…comprehensively addressed all environmental and social safeguards that are reasonably necessary to protect human health and the environment.”
ExxonMobil, which operates the Guyanese projects, will need to install a capping stack, which is an undersea device for sealing the well should an accident occur. Any natural gas that comes from the well as a by-product also cannot be routinely vented or flared. In addition, the consortium will also need to indemnify the country if it fails to meets its obligations, as well as take out insurance against environmental damage.