Repairs to gas compressor complete; Exxon says no link between oil production and damage

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ExxonMobil’s management team in Guyana on Thursday said that repairs to a faulty gas compressor from the Liza Destiny Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel was complete.

Production Manager, Mike Ryan, told members of the media during a virtual update that with all repairs completed on the compressor, several mechanical tests were done and both ExxonMobil and the engineers in Germany have accepted the test results.

As such, the equipment is getting ready to make its way back to Guyana.  Ryan said teams are already in place and the resources needed to help with the installation have already been identified.

He said the matter was “really complicated and not a simple issue.”

Once here, Ryan anticipates that ExxonMobil will be able to stick to its eight weeks promise of a resolution. That would mean that by the end of March 2021, the compressor will be installed; returning operations to normalcy and reducing the current levels of flaring being done.

Country Manager, Alistair Routledge

Meanwhile, ExxonMobil’s Country Manager, Alistair Routledge, explained it has been “extremely frustrating” for the entire ExxonMobil management as they worked 24/7 to resolve the issues surrounding the damage to the compressor.

He said it was an unusual issue; notwithstanding, Routledge assured that the company was cognisant of its obligations and commitments under the permits and licenses granted to operate in Guyana. To this end, he said the company remains fully within those limits and has not exceeded any parameter.

He also claimed that there was no relation between the fault to the compressor and ExxonMobil’s improved oil production at the time. The compressor failed on the night of January 27, 2021, and ExxonMobil had subsequently announced that it had reduced production.

At the time, Exxon was reportedly producing 130,000 barrels of oil per day, 10,000 barrels above what has always been stated as the maximum production – 120,000 barrels of oil per day.

In relation to the ongoing flaring, Routledge said Exxon remains unhappy and dissatisfied with the current flaring and noted that the company is looking to return to normal limits within the shortest possible time.

The company continues to produce oil at 120,000 barrels per day and said flaring is maintained as low as possible; the current daily levels are between 16 – 18 million cubic feet.

Ryan explained that even if production was reduced minimally, it would not affect the flaring. He said for flaring to stop then production would need to be reduced to zero.

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