With one FPSO in operation and a total of ten being targeted to develop the more than 9 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources found in Guyana, a long-term framework that includes flare management will be key to the advancement of operations offshore the South American country. In this regard, ExxonMobil, operator at the 6.6 million acres Stabroek Block, says it is working closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and key stakeholders, to support this initiative.
“We are working cooperatively with the EPA to support development of a long-term regulatory approach, including flare management,” Public and Government Affairs Advisor, Janelle Persaud said on Thursday in response to questions from OilNOW. This followed an announcement by the EPA that it has revised the Environmental Permit for the Liza Phase 1 Development to include modified terms relating to the emission reporting requirements, technical considerations for flaring, and timelines for flaring events. The revised Permit also contains an obligation on ExxonMobil to pay for the emission of Carbon Dioxide (CO2 equivalent) as a result of flaring in excess of these timelines.
“ExxonMobil Guyana is in compliance with the Liza Phase 1 Environmental Permit, and we are working closely with regulators and key stakeholders, keeping them informed of operations during repairs and upgrades this year,” Persaud said.
She pointed out that the Liza Phase 1 permit renewal process, which is due to begin this year, will allow the parties to study the issue more fully, account for the technical operating abilities of the Liza Destiny FPSO and properly balance all appropriate factors for a set of long-term flare management conditions.
“It is important to note that flaring ensures safe operation of the FPSO, which includes a continuous pilot flare that is ready to handle emergencies and planned or unplanned maintenance,” Persaud added.
The company has been encountering ongoing issues with the gas compression system on the Liza Destiny FPSO which saw gas being flared above pilot levels for extended periods during 2020. This year, after the faulty component was repaired, upgraded and returned, additional challenges were encountered with the discharge silencer as it was being tested and monitored after reinstallation.
SBM Offshore, builder and operator of the Liza Destiny FPSO, said this week further work is being done on elements of the flash gas compression system which is expected to be delivered during the month of July 2021.
“Additionally, plans initiated in 2020 are progressing to install a redesigned third stage flash gas compression system at the end of this year,” the company said, adding that it is continuing to work closely with ExxonMobil and with the equipment manufacturer in order to expedite resolution of the situation.