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Monday, April 12, 2021

Government working with Exxon to ensure early solution to gas compressor issue – Bharrat

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The Guyana government is working with ExxonMobil to ensure that the faulty third stage gas compressor now under repairs in Germany, is fixed as soon as possible and that future FPSOs ordered for oil production off the country’s coast do not have the same challenges.

The gas compressor encountered difficulties during production optimization activities on the night of January 27 and has since been sent to MAN Energy Solutions in Germany for repairs. The engineering company has said there is no linkage between the technical issues encountered with the gas compressor and production optimization activities that were ongoing at the time.

Guyana’s Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat has said the gas compressor issue is “unfortunate”, making it clear that the Guyana government is not in favour of above pilot level flaring, and is working with the company to ensure the issue is resolved.

“In terms of the flaring, now it is an unfortunate situation. It is a situation that we wish would not happen. But we have found ourselves where a gas compressor again, on the FPSO – that is the Liza Destiny – would have encountered some issues and for safety reasons, of course, they had to take it out.” He said. “It was tested, and they realized that it could not be fixed here in Guyana. We don’t have the capacity to fix it, so it was taken to Germany to get that fixed and come back.”

ExxonMobil Guyana said on Tuesday the MAN team in Germany completed adjustments to achieve the required clearances on the discharge side of the compressor and has started verifications of internal machinery profiles.

The company said it is providing regular updates to government and other key stakeholders while working to restore operations and reduce the flare to pilot levels.

“We are working with them to ensure that it is fixed as early as possible and further to that, we are working with them to ensure that the future FPSOs that are coming don’t have this problem,” the natural resources minister said.

“So, we want them to use the experiences on Liza Destiny to correct the faults on Liza Unity which will be in Guyana soon and when I say soon, I mean before the year is out, and also on the Prosperity FPSO which should be here in another 2 years from now, so that the problem doesn’t keep recurring over and over,” Mr. Bharrat added.

ExxonMobil has said ensuring future FPSOs do not have the same challenge is a top priority for the company and formed part of active discussions it has been engaged in with its co-venturers and the Guyana government.

“Of course, we are all interested in ensuring that we never do this again. This is not what we call normal operations,” President of ExxonMobil Guyana, Alistair Routledge has told OilNOW. “We’re very unhappy with the way that this vessel started up. So, we’ve been proactively learning the lessons, taking those to Singapore to the team that is currently building the phase two vessel, the Unity FPSO.”

The construction, fabrication, and pre-commissioning teams working in Singapore have been incorporating those lessons learnt into the ongoing fabrication and construction work for the Liza Unity FPSO. The Prosperity FPSO is the third approved vessel for Guyana, targeting the Payara development.

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