With the Liza Phase Two Project scheduled for start-up this quarter, Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found it prudent to make some critical modifications to the permit issued to Operator, ExxonMobil.
In the permit modified and signed on January 17, 2022, ExxonMobil’s affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) is required to pay US$45 per tonne of Carbon Dioxide equivalents (CO2e) emitted as a result of flaring in excess of the periods of flaring expressly stipulated in the permit.
The document categorically states that flaring is only permissible during commissioning, start-up, or special circumstances.
Commissioning is defined in the permit as the process of ensuring that all systems and components are designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained according to the operational requirements or manufacturer’s specifications.
Start-up is defined as the activity that occurs at the end of commissioning and shall not exceed 60 cumulative days of flaring.
With respect to special circumstances, flaring is allowed for any unavoidable expected event such as weather conditions and for safety response so as to maintain the flare system in a safe and ready condition.
Flaring is also allowed for maintenance which is characterized in the permit as planned/unplanned maintenance and inspections on gas handling systems and related processes and construction activities. It is also allowable for scheduled unloading or cleaning or a well or well work-over and well testing. Production testing, other well evaluation testing, or the necessary blowdown to perform these procedures as well as maintenance required during and after an emergency shutdown or restart are included.
Where any of the aforementioned special circumstances or conditions is expected to exceed 14 days, EEPGL is expected to seek the EPA’s approval for flaring within the first 96 hours of the commencement of flaring. Where flaring during start-up is expected to exceed 60 days, the permit holder must get the EPA’s approval for flaring no later than 5 days prior to the end of the 60 days period.
The EPA was keen to note that it expects payment of fees charged within 14 days from the approval date for CO2e calculations submitted by ExxonMobil.
The agency said too that it reserves the right to revise the fee if it deems necessary.
OilNOW previously reported that the US$6 billion Liza Phase 2 development will have a total of six drill centers as well as approximately 30 wells, including 15 for production, nine for water injection and six for gas injection.
The project will utilize the Liza Unity FPSO which was constructed in Singapore. The vessel will have a gross production capacity of 220,000 barrels of oil per day and will develop approximately 600 million barrels of oil.