ExxonMobil’s engagement in temporary, non-routine flaring in the Stabroek Block some weeks ago, and up until now, has caught several regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by surprise.
But it was this very agency which gave ExxonMobil the permission to do so with its stamp of approval for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) the oil giant submitted.
According to the EIA seen by Kaieteur News, ExxonMobil notes that flaring will be temporary and non-routine. In fact, its subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) intends to re-inject all operationally-produced gas under routine conditions, except that which will be utilized for FPSO operations (e.g., fuel gas).
It was further noted that a flare system will be provided for the collection and safe disposition of produced hydrocarbon gases resulting from unplanned, non-routine relief and blowdown events. The EIA states that relief events occur to prevent overpressure scenarios in the process equipment. It further clarifies that blowdown events occur to depressure the facilities in a controlled manner as a result of emergency shutdown events.
In addition, the EIA states that temporary, non-routine flaring will occur during equipment maintenance, process upsets, and start-up.
EPA Head, Dr. Vincent Adams had told Kaieteur News that while he respects the fact that flaring would be inevitable, the length of time it has been doing so, was “unexpected.” Be that as it may, the EIA does not put any restriction on how long Exxon is allowed to carry out flaring. In fact, it will be able to do so at various intervals until 2040.
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