ExxonMobil Guyana said on Wednesday it remains in full compliance with the environmental permit that was issued by the Environmental Protection Agency for oil production operations at the Liza Phase 1 Development offshore the South American country.
On Wednesday, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Vincent Adams, accused the company of operating in violation of Guyana’s laws as it relates to flaring.
“So, we noticed their illegal flaring to produce at the maximum 120,000 barrels per day. Their only interest is to keep that production up – nobody has any problem with keeping that production up – but the law says you must not flare,” Adams stated.
The permit issued by the EPA for the Liza Phase 1 operations stipulates that there should be no routine flaring. However, it also outlines circumstances which may result in flaring, but are not considered to be routine.
“The permit prohibits routine flaring but specifies that flaring related to FPSO start-up, emergencies/process events, or maintenance activities are not considered routine,” Janelle Persaud, ExxonMobil Guyana Public and Government Affairs Advisor said.
Operating processes during production operations include safely flowing the reservoir hydrocarbons from the wells to the FPSO, where further processing, storage, and management occurs prior to offloading the oil to the conventional tankers.
The issues encountered with the gas compressor has limited the volume of gas that can be reinjected into the reservoir during production operations, and as a safety measure, the excess gas is being flared.
Environmental commitments the company has made for the Liza Phase 1 Development comprise the implementation of measures to manage emissions to the atmosphere and includes re-injecting produced gas which is not utilized as fuel gas on the FPSO to avoid routine flaring.
“We are disappointed at the issues we have encountered with the flash gas compressor that led to flaring more than we had planned,” Persaud said.
The official further stated that ExxonMobil Guyana complies with the conditions of the Liza Phase One environmental permit which was issued by the EPA as well as all other laws and regulations related to its operations.