Opposition Leader seeking meeting with ExxonMobil over gas compressor issue

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Leader of the Opposition in Guyana, Joseph Harmon, has written to President of Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd. (EEPGL), Alistair Routledge, seeking a meeting to address matters related to the challenges the company has been facing with the flash gas compressor system on the Liza Destiny floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. EEPGL (ExxonMobil Guyana) is the operator of the Stabroek Block where oil production is ongoing at the Liza Phase 1 Development.

In a letter dated April 15, 2021, seen by OilNOW, the Opposition Leader said he has noted reports of a drop in oil production to around 30,000 barrels per day due to faulty equipment aboard the FPSO.

“This reported lingering malfunctioning of equipment that continues to delay the termination of excess flaring of produced gas, plus the significant reduction of operations to a bare minimum production level, are of considerable concerns to the APNU+AFC Opposition, which as you are aware, represents almost half of the Guyanese population in the National Assembly,” Harmon stated in the letter.

“I am in receipt of numerous queries from our constituents, civil society and concerned citizens expressing their worry that EEPGL’s performance since inception, appear to be far below expectations and is eroding their confidence in a safe and environmentally sound operation,” the letter pointed out.

Harmon said similar queries have been received by his colleague Members of Parliament and his office.

“I therefore seek an urgent meeting with you and your executive team at the earliest mutually convenient opportunity to be briefed on matters to include this recent development, the root cause(s) of equipment failures resulting in excessive flaring and reduced production, your plan with schedule for permanently addressing these root cause(s), and the short and long term economic and environmental implications for all of Guyana,” the Opposition Leader stated.

He said his proposal is to be accompanied at the meeting by senior Members of Parliament including the Shadow Minister for Oil and Gas.

When contacted, ExxonMobil Guyana Public and Government Affairs Advisor, Janelle Persaud, confirmed that the company is in receipt of the letter from the Opposition Leader, and is in the process of responding.

“We received the letter late Friday from the Leader of the Opposition, and we are in the process of sending a response,” Persaud said. “As has always been the case, we will continue to be transparent about our operations with all stakeholders.”

The company said in an update last week that as the final testing phase of the reinstalled flash gas compressor and other components of the system on the FPSO was being conducted, an additional problem with the discharge silencer was encountered.

“ExxonMobil Guyana is extremely disappointed by the design issues and continued underperformance of this unit and will be working with the equipment manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions and the vessel’s operator SBM Offshore, to rectify the situation,” Persaud stated at the time.

The Government of Guyana (GoG) has said it is ‘highly disappointed’ with ExxonMobil’s inability to resolve the ongoing issues with the flash gas compressor system.

“The GoG is currently examining the implications of the loss of output, and consequently loss of income and revenue, including measures that it may have to institute to protect national interest,” the Ministry of Natural Resources said in a statement on April 14.


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