Liza Phase 2 Environmental Impact Assessment approved

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On-board the Noble Bob Douglas drill ship searching for oil off Guyana's coast, on contract for ExxonMobil. (April 2018)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Guyana has approved the final Environmental Impact Assessment Report for ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited’s (EEPGL) Liza Phase 2 Development Project. The EIA covers development of production facilities in the Stabroek License Area located approximately 183 kilometers (114 miles) northeast of the coastline of Georgetown.

The EPA said its decision was based on the Agency being satisfied that the EIA conforms to the relevant local and international guidelines and policies to ensure sound environmental management for this specific project. The Agency also considered and found the proposed measures in the EIA and Environmental Management Plan reasonable to protect human health and environment.

“The Agency’s decision to approve the Liza Phase 2 Project was made on completion of Environmental Impact Assessment process and taking into account comments from independent, public and stakeholder reviews as well as responses to these comments by the EIA Consultants,” the EPA said.

The Agency is tasked with examining the Environmental and Social Impact Assessments and Environmental and Social Management Plans while the Petroleum Unit of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) is tasked with granting approval of Field Development Plans.

As part of its regulatory role, the EPA, considering recommendations from the Environmental Advisory Board and GGMC, is responsible for deciding whether and under what conditions to grant a company’s Application for Environmental Authorization.

The Liza Phase 2 EIA was prepared by a team of consultants including Environmental Resources Management (ERM), an international environmental and social consulting firm with a local registration in Guyana and extensive experience in the preparation of EIAs for offshore oil and gas development projects, and the Guyanese consultancies Environmental Management Consultants (EMC) and Ground Structures Engineering Consultants Ltd. (GSEC).

The Liza Phase 2 Project will include land-based support facilities such as pipe yards and bonds, drilling of subsea development wells and use of up to two drill ships. A floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) will be moored and connected to the wells for production and will have the capacity to produce approximately 190,000 – 220, 000 barrels of oil per day.

SBM Offshore has been awarded contracts by ExxonMobil to perform Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) for the Liza Phase 2 FPSO. The company is already building the Liza Destiny floater for Phase 1 of the project.

ExxonMobil Guyana has said the Liza Phase 2 project is on track for production startup in 2022 while Liza Phase 1 is expected to bring first oil for Guyana by 2020.

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