ExxonMobil increases flaring over problems with gas compressor

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ExxonMobil on Friday said it has increased flaring of natural gas at the oil production vessel offshore Guyana because of problems with the gas compressor.

“There was a technical issue regarding a seal on the gas compressor on Liza Destiny,” ExxonMobil’s Guyana office said, adding that “this unfortunate incident resulted in us having to temporarily increase our flare above pilot levels in order to maintain safe operations.”

The company had agreed with local authorities that gas flaring would be kept at a limit of 15 million-cubic feet per day. The company did not immediately say by how much flaring has increased or whether it has decreased production so as to limit the amount of gas it would need to flare.

Last year, the company faced similar problems with the compressor not being able to reinject all of the natural gas produced alongside the light, sweet Liza crude. It had then decided to reduce its production levels so as to reduce the amount of gas it would need to flare.

Flaring is a major environmental concern, as it generates harmful greenhouses gases which are responsible for changes in the world’s climate.

“We are disappointed that this unexpected issue has occurred and we’re working diligently with the vessel’s owner and the equipment vendor to understand and fix the issue as quickly as possible,” Alistair Routledge, President of ExxonMobil Guyana, stated.

The company said the relevant government authorities have been informed and it is providing regular updates.

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