Monday, June 5, 2023

Exxon seeking consultants for more environmental studies in Guyana

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ExxonMobil Guyana affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), is seeking to conduct additional studies related to its petroleum operations offshore the South American country.

The company is seeking to undertake multiple consultancies related to ‘Biodiversity Assessments and Environmental Monitoring’ and ‘Environmental and Socioeconomic Assessments’. 

The first indicates that EEPGL plans to put in place an agreement for the provision of consultancy services for onshore and nearshore biodiversity assessments and environmental monitoring in Guyana. The second states that EEPGL plans to put in place an agreement for the provision of a consultancy services for environmental and socioeconomic asssessments. These assessments will include environmental and social impact assessments (ESIAs), Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESMPs), Cumulative Impact Assessments (CIAs), Community Health and Safety Plans, and Stakeholder Engagement Plans (SEPs).

Recent advocacy from environmental campaigners is placing a greater spotlight on the potential impacts of petroleum operations offshore Guyana. More focus is also being placed on the capacity of the country’s environmental regulators. 

Just recently, campaigners filed appeals against a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EIA) to not require an EIA for a 300 megawatts natural gas power plant that is part of the Gas-to-Energy project. An independent board held a 4-hour long hearing to explore the appeals. The board is expected to hand down a decision on whether to set aside the EPA’s decision, which could see an additional EIA being required for the project, and a delay to the start of construction. 

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