Oil and gas company Exxon Mobil-led group is planning to invest $12.93bn to develop their sixth oil project offshore Guyana, reported Reuters, citing a filing to Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Called Whiptail, the project’s floating production platform is expected to commence operations in 2027.

Once operational, Whiptail is anticipated to boost the Exxon-led consortium’s oil production in Guyana to more than 1.2 million barrels of oil per day (bopd).

The consortium includes US energy company Hess and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

With the discovery of more than 11 billion barrels of oil and gas, Guyana, a country on South America’s North Atlantic coast, has become the world’s fastest-growing new oil country in the past ten years.

Currently, Exxon, along with its partners, produces 400,000bopd from two vessels and has stated that they can develop up to ten offshore projects.

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Exxon-led consortium’s oil and gas activities have generated $2.8bn in direct revenue for the South American nation and generated some 4,400 jobs for Guyanese people.

The Whiptail project is comparable to Exxon’s fifth project, Uaru.

Earlier this year, Exxon, Hess, and CNOOC agreed to spend $12.7bn on Uaru, which has an output of 250,000bopd and an upper production limit of 263,000bopd.

According to the filing, the project does not intend to produce natural gas because studies showed that any decrease in injected gas would lead to a decrease in oil recovery.

As part of their drilling plan, which runs from late 2024 to mid-2030, the partners intend to drill up to 72 wells.

Exxon stated that the installation of subsea components would begin in the second half of 2025 or in the early months of 2026.

The company also stated that the project is anticipated to employ up to 540 workers during the drilling and installation stage and between 100 and 180 personnel during production operations.

Last month, Exxon, Hess and CNOOC secured approval from the EPA to drill 35 new offshore exploration and appraisal wells offshore Guyana.