ExxonMobil has made a final investment decision to proceed with the first phase of development for the Liza oilfield located offshore Guyana.
The company also encountered more than 197ft of oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs at the Liza-4 well that underpins a potential Liza Phase II development in future.
Currently, gross recoverable resources from the Stabroek block that hosts Liza field are estimated at two billion to 2.5 billion oil-equivalent barrels.
The Liza Phase I development will include a subsea production system and a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel that is capable of producing up to 120,000bpd of oil.
Phase I development is expected to cost more than $4.4bn, including a lease capitalisation cost of nearly $1.2bn for the FPSO facility. It is expected to start production by 2020 and develop about 450 million barrels of oil.
ExxonMobil Development Company president Liam Mallon said: "We’re excited about the tremendous potential of the Liza field and accelerating first production through a phased development in this lower cost environment.
"We will work closely with the government, our co-venturers and the Guyanese people in developing this world-class resource that will have long-term and meaningful benefits for the country and its citizens."
The Liza Phase I development has already received regulatory approval from the Government of Guyana and is expected to create new jobs during installation and operations.
The field is located nearly 190km from the shore in water depths of 1,500m to 1,900m.
ExxonMobil intends to develop four drill centres at the field with a total of 17 wells that comprise eight for production, six for water injection and three for gas injection.
The Liza field is a part of the Stabroek Block spread across an area spanning 26,800km².
Esso Exploration and Production Guyana operates the block with a 45% interest.
Hess Guyana Exploration owns a 30% interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana holds the remaining 25% stake in the block.