With possibility of more gas discoveries, gov’t mulls second pipeline


As local authorities move ahead with plans to develop a 135-mile pipeline that would bring natural gas onshore to fire a power plant at Wales, West Bank Demerara (WBD), the government is already considering a second pipeline to bring even more gas.

This is according to Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat, who talked up Guyana’s energy future at a forum hosted by the Baker Institute in Houston, Texas.

The government proposes to run a 135-mile pipeline from offshore Guyana to Wales, to bring in gas being produced by ExxonMobil’s operations in the prolific Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. This gas will be used, it is proposed, to fire a power plant producing 300 megawatts of electricity.

Bharrat, on Monday, said that plans to use this natural gas will cut Guyana’s dependence on heavy fuel, thereby cutting electricity costs. Further, he said that the reduced cost of energy will help to spur the growth of Guyana’s manufacturing sector.

“…we expect that our gas finds or discoveries will increase and we may actually look at a second pipeline coming onshore sometime in the future,” the Natural Resources Minister said.

He, however, emphasised that the government is still in discussions for this project and no concrete decision has been taken yet.

What is informing this consideration, Bharrat explained, is that the government is still sanctioning further oil and gas exploration in the Stabroek Block as well as in other blocks.

“The trend is that as you move closer to Suriname, we’ve been discovering more gas and as you move further north, more oil,” Bharrat explained.

Guyana’s electricity demand is projected to triple in the next five years and the government is looking to meet the challenge, not by burning more diesel and heavy oil, but through natural gas and hydropower.

And Regional economist Dr. Justin Ram is among those who backed the natural gas project but he has emphasised that natural gas should be used as a transition fuel, helping to wean the country off of its dependence on fossil fuels and move towards more renewable energy sources like wind, water and solar energy.

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