Exxon’s recent and ongoing operational issues that have resulted in gas flaring raise a number of alarms. We have recently heard from an industry expert and an international lawyer both of whom have astutely expressed their suggestions for a resolution to the current gas fiasco. The financial and environmental impacts are not only important, but also bring into question whether Exxon has the adequate process controls over their operations. For such a new operation to have these issues already may be a precursor to larger problems to come such as an oil spill. An audit and review of the current operations and operational issues should be completed. Pending corrective operational work orders and time to closure of these work orders should also be reviewed, with close attention being paid to their predictive and preventative maintenance programme. Hopefully, with the recent closure of many Oil Rigs due to profitability issues, has now freed up resources to allow for the assignment of the best available resources, the proper upkeep and the servicing of the high risk operations being undertaken off of Guyana’s shoreline.
The current market price for crude and the global economic environment has provided the best timing for shutting down offshore operations to properly resolve these issues while preventing the environmental damage. If under these circumstances, Exxon was not willing to make such a difficult but responsible decision then we can only expect that as the global economy rebounds and future operational issues arise that poor decision-making may continue where Guyana and the Guyanese people get the short end of the stick.
The current oil lifts may barely cover operational costs leaving Guyana with low to zero net income from the sale. On the other hand, Exxon has storage access and have properly hedged oil prices, which will allow them to comparatively make a substantial profit for their shareholders. The EPA and the Department of Energy must make a coordinated decision in the overall best interest of Guyana first and foremost. These decisions should be made in a timely and informative manner without allowing corporate interests to skew the decision-making process.
Guyana should not continue to give up limited oil and gas resources in a wasteful and irresponsible manner that does not add to our energy security, nor adds any financial benefit, while depleting from the health of our Homeland and standing as responsible global citizens.
Mr. Jamil Changlee
The Cooperative Republicans of Guyana
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