Executive Director of Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Kemraj Parsram said, if its review goes well, the regulator expects to grant renewal of the environmental permit for the Liza Phase One project at the end of May, when the initial permit expires.
According to the document, the permit expires on May 31, 2022.
Parsram confirmed that, in-keeping with the requirement of the permit, ExxonMobil Guyana submitted the application for renewal long in advance. He said the review process generally concerns compliance with the permit, as well as the implementation of new standards, terms, and conditions.
According to the permit, the regulator must consider changes in fee structures, improvement in environmental best practices, and best available techniques which consider economic and technological feasibility. The review will also entail recommendations arising from the updated Environmental Impact Statement, Environmental and Socioeconomic Management Plan, studies provided for in the permit, and compliance monitoring.
When the permit was first granted in 2017, the previous administration set a 20-year period before it would come up for renewal. Because this was in contravention with the Environmental Protection Act, Guyana’s High Court was petitioned and in 2020, issued an order that the permit period be reduced to five years, as is the legal limit.
This permit has also been modified multiple times to bring it into conformity with updated standards especially concerning flaring. Because ExxonMobil encountered issues with its gas compression equipment, the government introduced fees for flaring, which currently stand at US$45 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) flared.
The Liza Phase One operation achieved first oil in December 2019 with nameplate capacity of 120,000 barrels of oil per day. Its production capacity has since been upped to 140,000 barrels of oil per day.