ExxonMobil agrees to pay EPA for excess gas flaring offshore

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After flaring significant amounts of gas due to issues with its gas compressor abroad the oil production vessel offshore Guyana, ExxonMobil’s local subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), has agreed to pay the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) US$30 per tonne of excess Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emitted.

A press release from the EPA noted that the Environmental Permit for the Liza 1 Development Project, offshore Guyana, where oil is currently being extracted, was recalled and modified to include specific regulatory requirements for flaring of associated gas offshore Guyana. This, the press release noted, is being done in accordance with the EPA’s legislation.

As per the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for this Liza project, it was estimated that the oil producer would flare about 14 Billion Standard Cubic Feet (Bcf) of gas when production began.

Due to technical issues with the flash gas compression system, gas flaring offshore Guyana was recently resumed following intermittent periods of flaring since December 2019. The company was projected to exceed the estimated amount to be flared for the project on May 13, 2021, and as such, the EPA noted that it engaged EEPGL on the technical and legal issues regarding modifications to address flaring.

“On May 13, 2021, the Modified Permit was issued to EEPGL having been signed by both EEPGL and EPA,” the EPA said.

Revised terms and conditions in this permit include emissions reporting requirements, technical considerations for flaring, timelines for flaring events and an obligation on the company to pay for the emission of Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e) as a result of flaring in excess of these timelines.

Importantly, the EPA stated, “The aforementioned payment shall be paid to the EPA and calculated at the rate of US$30 per tonne of CO2e.”

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