ExxonMobil Guyana announced Thursday via its facebook page that it will be conducting planned maintenance on equipment used for oil spill response operations over the duration of five days, beginning November 5.
“This maintenance activity will involve deploying some offshore boom and equipment that would be used in the event of a spill,” the company said. “The boom deployment will happen in open waters closer to shore and will involve two marine vessels maneuvering with the equipment.”
The company said this activity is for maintenance and training purposes only and is part of the process to ensure it is well-prepared in the unlikely event of an incident.
“We request that small vessels and onlookers please keep a respectful and safe distance from the activity so that there are no safety exposures to either themselves or the workers performing the deployment maintenance activity,” ExxonMobil said.
Oil production in Guyana began last December and is expected to rapidly increase in the coming years reaching around 750,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2026 and hitting a peak of 1.4 million bpd by the mid-2030s.
A National Oil Spill Contingency Plan was recently submitted to Prime Minister Mark Phillips by Director-General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig.
“This plan is very comprehensive, and it has a component where we incorporate an onshore oil spill scenario because of the fact that we will have large trucks traversing the country with large quantities of fuel and petroleum products and because of mining and other activities which require the storage of large quantities of gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products,” Colonel Craig said at the time.