– industry experts
By Kiana Wilburg
The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government and American multi-national, ExxonMobil, are currently engaged in ironing out issues pertaining to the approval for the Payara Field Development Plan (FDP).
But even as it continues this exercise, industry experts who are paying keen attention to the nation’s fledgling oil sector, are worried that other key matters may be neglected to the country’s detriment.
Payara is the third phase of development with permits already granted for the rest to the oil company which is currently facing major problems on the stock market.
In this regard, prominent industry experts have told this news agency that Guyana should put a hold on approving further FDPs until a national master plan for the development of gas resources is in place.
One petroleum engineering expert stated: “A big worry for me is that Guyana has about 10 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas, and that is according to statistics from ExxonMobil. Do you know this is more than what Trinidad and Tobago has right now?”
The industry specialist said: “Without a development plan to maximize the extraction and use, a lot of this could be left in the ground and effectively sterilized, since removing the oil first could prevent reentry.”
Given the sheer volume and high proportion of natural gas, the specialist stressed that Guyana should not proceed with another FDP without first having a natural gas master plan that includes its exploration and production strategy, and at the moment, no draft plan of this nature exists in Guyana.
There was only a plan on how to bring gas to shore from the Liza Phase One project. That document was put together by ExxonMobil and other international stakeholders contracted by the former APNU+AFC government.
The coalition is no longer in power, thanks for March general elections which was in limbo for several months.
During an exclusive interview held earlier this year, former Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, who also held responsibility (temporarily) for the project concerned with bringing gas to shore, had told this news agency that ExxonMobil is capable of providing 30 to 50 million cubic feet of natural gas from the Liza Phase One Project alone for electricity generation. The former Minister was keen to note that while this is enough to power the entire country for over 15 years, it is also enough to provide Guyana with four times the quantity of cooking gas that is used per day.
Patterson had said: “The gas available is enough to give you about 200 megawatts of power, which is more than the Guyana Power and Light is providing. Upon learning this, we started looking at the possibility of producing Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)…An initial assessment showed that the quantity available is enough to provide us with four times our daily consumption of cooking gas.”
The Opposition member had noted that the country uses approximately 20,000 barrels equivalent per day of cooking gas. He had said that while exporting this quantity is not commercially viable, it is certainly enough for domestic use.
Patterson had said that assessments of what can be done with the gas are still ongoing. He had noted as well that the Ministry had initially envisioned putting an industrial park to facilitate the plans for LPG at a 475-acre plot of land at Woodlands on the East Coast, but this plan has not been finalized.
“We had done a multi-stakeholder study and that was one of the sites identified, but there are some challenges and they are being looked at. No site has been chosen at the moment.”
Kaieteur News understands that the Energy Department is now in charge of handling these and other related matters.
Last year, the Energy Department had disclosed that gas can be brought to shore by 2023-2024.
Furthermore, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which is acutely aware of Guyana’s gas potential has said that currently, Guyana is at a historic juncture to convert its abundant natural resources into a diversified electricity generation matrix.
Along with the Stabroek oil discoveries, it noted that ExxonMobil and its partners have found commercial quantities of Natural Gas associated with the oil deposits.
Together with Renewable Energy (RE) sources, the financial institution said that this could transform the electricity generation sector. It stressed that the use of natural gas could help to lower carbon emissions and represent cost savings, benefitting residential, commercial, and industrial consumers.
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