Saipem Gets Go-Ahead for Payara Subsea Works


Italian oilfield services firm Saipem has recently received approval from ExxonMobil to proceed with the final phase of its work scope at the Payara development project offshore Guyana

Saipem in November last year won a provisional contract for Payara with the scope including Subsea Structures, Risers, and Flowlines, subject to the final investment decision being made.

While awaiting project sanction, Saipem was allowed to start initial activities, namely detailed engineering and procurement of the long lead items. 

Overall, Saipem is responsible for the detailed Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Installation (EPCI) of a large subsea production system. The system will include approximately 130 km of flowlines, rigid risers, associated terminations, and jumpers together with the installation of manifolds, flexible risers, dynamic and static umbilicals, and flying leads.

The authorization granted by ExxonMobil allows for the finalization of the detailed engineering and procurement activities and the full execution of the contract scope.

The Payara field is located in the Stabroek block offshore Guyana at a water depth of around 2,000 meters. The Payara development, sanctioned last month, will connect 41 wells in total, including production, water injection, and gas injection wells.

Saipem will use its vessels Saipem FDS2 and Saipem Constellation to perform the offshore installation while a soon-to-be-completed construction yard in Guyana will take on the local fabrication of part of the subsea items.

The facility will feature a heavy load bearing jetty, the largest heavy lift crane in Guyana, and specialized welding and testing equipment. All construction work for the new facility has been awarded to local Guyanese contractors. 

Local workforce

Saipem said it has started a recruitment campaign targeting local Guyanese for offshore works who will then be sent onboard the FDS2 for training and work. 

"These initiatives, along with our logistic activities in Guyana and the opening of Saipem offices in the capital Georgetown in 2019, are proof of our commitment to a country with ample perspectives as well as our constant efforts to deliver sustainable value to our stakeholders," Saipem said.

The Payara, Exxon's third project in the giant Stabroek offshore block in Guyana, will be developed using the Prosperity FPSO, the hull of which was recently launched in China's SWS Shipyard. The FPSO to be delivered by SBM Offshore will be able to produce up to 220,000 barrels of oil per day.

The project will target an estimated resource base of about 600 million oil-equivalent barrels. Ten drill centers are planned along with up to 41 wells, including 20 production and 21 injection wells. The first oil is expected in 2024.

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