Field/project development

ExxonMobil Hands Out Yellowtail Awards

SBM will supply the FPSO and TechnipFMC will supply more than 50 subsea trees and a dozen manifolds for the project offshore Guyana.

The Yellowtail FPSO award will be the fourth collaboration in the Stabroek block between operator ExxonMobil and contractor SBM Offshore. The first was FPSO Liza Destiny, pictured here.

ExxonMobil has selected SBM Offshore to perform front-end engineering and design (FEED) for the FPSO destined for the Yellowtail development project in the Stabroek block offshore Guyana.

The contract triggers the initial release of funds by ExxonMobil’s subsidiary Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd. (EEPGL) to begin FEED activities and secure a hull.

Following FEED and Guyana government approvals of the development plan and project sanction (including final investment decision by ExxonMobil and EEPGL’s release of the second phase of work), SBM will construct, install, and then lease the FPSO and operate it for a period of up to 2 years. First oil is expected in 2025.

SBM will design and construct the FPSO using its Fast4Ward program allocating the company’s sixth newbuild, multipurpose hull combined with several standardized topsides modules. The FPSO will be designed to produce 250,000 B/D of oil, will have associated gas treatment capacity of 450 MMcf/D, and water injection capacity of 300,000 B/D. It will be spread-moored in water depth of about 1800 m and will be able to store around 2 million bbl of crude oil. The Yellowtail FPSO will be largest producing unit ever built by SBM.

SBM has established a special purpose company (SPC) with McDermott International for the execution of the turnkey phase of the project. The SPC will benefit from the combined engineering and fabrication capacity. SBM will hold 70% and McDermott will hold 30% equity ownership in the SPC. The FPSO will be fully owned by SBM.

To date, SBM and ExxonMobil have worked together on the Liza Destiny, Liza Unity, and Prosperity FPSOs in the Stabroek block.

Stabroek discoveries.jpg
ExxonMobil's discoveries in the prolific Stabroek block offshore Guyana.

Additionally, TechnipFMC has scooped the award to supply the subsea production system for the Yellowtail. It will provide project management, engineering, manufacturing, and testing capabilities to deliver the overall subsea production system. While the exact value of the contract was not revealed, TechnipFMC considers it a “large” contract valued between $500 million and $1 billion.

The scope of the project includes 51 enhanced vertical deepwater trees and associated tooling, as well as 12 manifolds and associated controls and tie-in equipment.

The contractor was awarded a similar contract for the Liza development in 2017. That contract was followed a year later by the Liza Phase 2 award. In 2020, TechnipFMC was tapped by ExxonMobil for the supply of subsea equipment related to the Payara development in the region.

The Yellowtail discovery was announced in April 2019. Yellowtail is ExxonMobil’s 13th oil discovery in the Stabroek Block. The Yellowtail-1 well was drilled in a new reservoir, encountering approximately 89 m of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir and was drilled to a depth of 5622 m in 1843 m of water.

The Yellowtail-2 well encountered 21 m of net pay in a newly identified, high-quality oil-bearing reservoir among the original Yellowtail-1 discovery intervals.

ExxonMobil has made 18 discoveries in the Stabroek block to date. The gross recoverable resource for the combined finds is now estimated to be more than 8 billion BOE.