Consultants draw attention to combined impact of offshore flaring, Exxon says plans in place
With Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), ExxonMobil’s local subsidiary, seeking approval for another oil development in the Stabroek Block, consultants have drawn attention to the combined impact of flaring on the environment from multiple projects offshore.
This was noted by at least two members of the Acorn International team that conducted the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for EEPGL’s fifth planned project, Uaru.
President of Acorn International, Dean Slocum on Wednesday said that the cumulative impacts of the offshore projects warrant attention.
The team suggested that a flaring minimisation plan should be implemented to cater for some necessary or inevitable flaring at the four sanctioned projects (Liza I, Liza II, Payara and Yellowtail) and the Uaru project which is pending approval.
In response, however, EEPGL’s in-country Projects Manager, Anthony Jackson said the company has expanding plans that guide all of its offshore operations in the Stabroek Block.
“So the oil spill response plan, our flare mitigation or minimisation plan… those are essentially in place today.
“That is what we are using as we are producing at Destiny and Unity and we have those plans amended for the incoming vessels, (the) Prosperity and One Guyana vessels,” Jackson said at a public disclosure meeting held on Wednesday at the Umana Yana in Kingston, Georgetown.
Last May, Jackson said EEPGL will be crafting a “flare minimisation plan” that may determine ways in which the company would be able to reduce the amount of natural gas released, even during pilot levels.
Because the flaring issues at Liza 1 were linked to a faulty gas compressor aboard the Liza Destiny vessel, the company is seeking to minimise this elsewhere. Jackson said that the company is seeking to install spares on the Uaru FPSO to avoid a “single point of failure.”
Other potential avenues of reducing flare levels include utilising a closed loop system in the production of oil and gas, and improving the gas injection and fluid utilisation processes.
Flaring is a major environmental concern, as it generates harmful greenhouse gases which are responsible for changes in the world’s climate. With these changes, harmful disasters such as flooding are being experienced more frequently.
With challenges encountered with its faulty gas compressor aboard the Liza Destiny, ExxonMobil was forced to engage in unplanned flaring that eventually prompted the company to reduce production.
Subsequently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commenced charging the oil company US $45 per tonne of the excess Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emitted due to flaring.
GAS UTILISATION PLAN
Meanwhile, Jackson also said that EEPGL is hammering out the terms of reference needed for the natural ga utilisation plan it promised to deliver to the government.
With this, a better understanding of natural gas reserves offshore and how those can be harnessed is expected. And that plan comes as Guyana is pushing ahead with a massive Gas-to-Energy plan at Wales on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD).
“We will hopefully, approximately towards the end of this year, have a gas utilisation plan in the hands of the Ministry of Natural Resources for their consideration,” Jackson said.
They should wuk on we man made grass fires in the South…….