Aug 04, 2020 News Comments Off on EPA instructs ExxonMobil to submit quality assurance and control report for Liza Destiny
Mechanical issues & flaring…
Head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr. Vincent Adams has instructed ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), to submit a Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) Report on the Liza Destiny vessel. Kaieteur News understands that the request comes on the heels of ExxonMobil’s admission that mechanical issues with its gas compressor system resulted in the flaring of close to 10 billion cubic feet of gas.
Dr. Adams said, “The mechanical issues with this compressor is a serious concern for us and we are not satisfied that they did a thorough quality assurance check so we brought it to their attention. We have also requested to review their QA/QC programme because what happened with that compressor should not have occurred.”
During its second quarter earnings call that took place last week, ExxonMobil executives informed shareholders about the issues being experienced with flaring in Guyana while noting that it has prevented the company from reaching peak production of 120,000 barrels of oil per day. Executives also explained that the challenge to fix the mechanical issues in a timely fashion were due to difficulties experienced in mobilizing the technical experts as well as materials in-country due to COVID-19 restrictions. ExxonMobil was keen to note that these issues are being resolved and noted that there will be 100 percent injection of gas this month.
As the company works towards bringing an end the flaring onboard the Liza Destiny, toxic chemicals will continue to be released into Guyana’s airspace. Dr. Adams told Kaieteur News that the company is flaring 12 to 15 million cubic feet of gas per day. According to a special study conducted by the World Bank, flaring releases gases that are not only harmful to one’s health but also disastrous to the climate. The report notes that flaring releases more than 250 toxins including cancer causing agents such as benzopyrene, benzene, carbon disulphide (CS2), carbonyl sulphide (COS), and toluene. It also releases metals such as mercury, arsenic, and chromium and nitrogen oxides.
Another study that was conducted by the Suez University in Egypt agrees with the findings of the World Bank Group, while adding that flaring is a significant contributor of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane.
When released into the atmosphere, these gases trap heat to a significant degree. The University’s Department of Petroleum and Chemical Engineering was keen to note that flaring is also considered to be extremely harmful to the environment since it releases methane which has about 25 times greater global warming potential than carbon dioxide.
Other pollutants such as sulfur oxides (SOx) and volatile organic components (VOC) are also released from flaring. These are considered major causes of acid rain and fog, which harm the natural environment and human life. Taking these and other harmful environmental effects into consideration, nations such as Guyana are urged to limit and/or prohibit flaring.
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