ExxonMobil limiting oil production after encountering additional challenges with gas compressor

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Additional challenges with the gas handling system on the Liza Destiny FPSO has resulted in ExxonMobil taking a decision to limit oil production in order to curb flaring. Despite the challenges, the company says it is continuing to safely move forward with the commissioning of other parts of the gas compression system.

“Our teams are working tirelessly to resolve these issues,” ExxonMobil Guyana Public and Government Affairs Advisor, Janelle Persaud, said in a comment to OilNOW this week.  “Despite this latest setback, we have significantly reduced flaring as we safely progress commissioning of other parts of the gas compression system on the Liza Destiny.”

In May, the Liza Destiny FPSO encountered some issues with its gas reinjection system during a performance test. This resulted in longer than usual flaring since repairs were initially delayed in order to observe travel restrictions and safety and isolation protocols related to COVID-19. Ms. Persaud said the pandemic continues to affect the company’s ability to address the challenges.  

“Unfortunately, restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact our ability to bring key workers and equipment into the country, thereby slowing the progress of related activities,” she said.

EPA head Dr. Vincent Adams had said ExxonMobil was taking the necessary precautions by flaring after it countered challenges with the gas compressor. “It was a good thing they decided to err on the side of caution,” he told OilNOW in June.

ExxonMobil has said the safety of the crew onboard the Liza Destiny and efforts to minimize flaring remain key priorities in its operations offshore.

“We are currently limiting oil production and injecting or using more than 85% of the associated gas produced from the reservoir with two of the three gas handling systems online,” Ms. Persaud said. “Once the full system is commissioned, we will increase oil production to full capacity and only a pilot flare will remain for safety.”

Oil production began last December at the Liza Phase 1 development which has a peak production rate of 120,000 bpd.

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