Next shipment of oil due next week; GRA aims to have CCTV cameras onboard oil ship
The second lift of Guyana’s light sweet crude, which ExxonMobil is entitled to, is expected on February 3 – 4, 2020, according to Lancelot Wills, Deputy Commissioner General, Customs of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
At a press conference at the GRA’s Camp Street, Georgetown headquarters on Friday afternoon, Wills said: “our next lift is slated for tentatively the 3rd -4th of February and we are in a full state of readiness.”
According to the agreement, the operators ExxonMobil, Hess and CNOOC are each entitled to a lift before Guyana receive its’ first million barrels. The Department of Energy has selected Shell Western Supply and Trading Limited of the Royal Dutch Shell group of companies to buy its first three lifts.
He added that there is a full gamut of activities which GRA is required to monitor.
The Authority has already established an Auditing Department and an Interim Customs Petroleum Unit.
“One concerns itself primarily with audit and the other with the customs functionality – which are customary in customs processing of shipments, trans-shipments, import, transits, exports,” Wills said.
There are a team of officers from the GRA and other local agencies who are required to do the volumetric measurements corroboration aboard the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. They are tasked with ensuring that the measurements are as accurately read and ticketed on the Custody Transfer Meter, report on all offshore activities relating to customs clearance and ensure that all other systems are in place.
Wills said GRA staff are required to be embedded with the staff of the FPSO “so that we can exercise the kind of surveillance for which the Guyanese public has been clamouring.”
The FPSO was last year appointed as a sufferance wharf and private warehouse and is now bound by certain procedural regulations.
The Agency is looking to have a permanent presence on the vessel.
The Deputy Commissioner General said, “what we intend to do is to have a CCTV feed as soon as it becomes practicable so that we will be livestreaming video as to what transpires out there offshore.”
In the absence of the livestream, officers are transported offshore. Commissioner General, Godfrey Statia said the agency has asked for at least four persons to be offshore at all times. “We now have identified the persons who will be going there, whether they should be there on a weekly basis…we are working out that modality, the office space and the types of computers and all sort of things,” he said.
The company which is entitled to recover its cost is responsible for transporting the personnel offshore.
ExxonMobil and its partners began oil production on December 20, 2019, on the Liza 1 project where the company has so far made 16 successful discoveries.