Guyana’s Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon, expressed satisfaction after meeting with ExxonMobil’s local subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) on Thursday, to discuss gas flaring and the issue of faulty equipment aboard the Liza Destiny Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel.
He had requested the meeting after ExxonMobil revealed it had encountered issues with its discharge silencer and had tempered production to about 30,000 barrels of oil per day.
“This matter is of considerable concern to all of us given the impact it would have on Guyana’s earnings from the industry,” the Opposition Leader said in a statement following the meeting. “We have been bombarded with questions and concerns from the public and our supporters and therefore took the opportunity to engage with Exxon to benefit from their direct explanations and to inform them of our position on the issues.”
Mr. Harmon said the Opposition team stated at the meeting that flaring of gas into the atmosphere and the operational efficiency of critical equipment were key among its concerns.
“We informed ExxonMobil that we are resolutely against flaring; except when permitted at pilot light level,” he said. “We inquired whether the people of Guyana will have to bear the cost associated with the malfunctioning equipment.”
President of ExxonMobil Guyana, Alistair Routledge told reporters after the meeting that ExxonMobil is working with the people of Guyana to make sure it get things fixed as quickly as possible and “the cost stays with the companies that are responsible for the equipment.”
Harmon said the Opposition team urged ExxonMobil at the meeting to ensure the issues are resolved urgently, and that oil production return to optimum levels.
“While we seek to exploit our natural resources, we must maintain a strong commitment to doing so within a green framework with minimal effect to our environment on land and at sea and with respect for our laws,” Harmon said.
Harmon noted his gratitude over assurances and information provided by ExxonMobil Guyana President, Alistair Routledge, and his team, during the meeting.
ExxonMobil said on Wednesday that it removed the discharge silencer, and slowly began ramping up production to 100,000-110,000 barrels per day, with flaring no higher than 15 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.
The company stated that it is disappointed with the ongoing technical challenges it is experiencing, and that its operating parameters were determined after careful consideration of safety, environmental, technical, and economic factors as well as discussions with the relevant government agencies on the best path forward while repairs and upgrades are ongoing.
It expects a diagnosis and repairs for the discharge silencer to be completed in approximately three months and plans to install a redesigned third stage flash gas compression system later this year.
“This was the first in what I anticipate to be a series of ongoing meetings,” Harmon said while noting intentions to discuss this matter as well as ExxonMobil’s involvement in the gas-to-shore project, in the future.
The Opposition Leader was accompanied by Members of Parliament, Khemraj Ramjattan, Amanza Walton-Desir, David Patterson, Geeta Chandan-Edmond, Ronald Cox, Roysdale Forde, and Executive Director of the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton.
Routledge led a delegation that included the company’s Production Manager, Mike Ryan, and Public and Government Affairs Advisor, Janelle Persaud.