Sep 28, 2020 News
…Approval for Payara
‘A country which has no self-respect and accepts crumbs for its Crown Jewels’ – Dr. Jan Mangal
Upon noting the fact that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP/C) is just mere days away from signing off on ExxonMobil’s third well project in the Stabroek Block, called Payara, international Petroleum Consultant, Dr. Jan Mangal posits that one can clearly conclude that the current regime is executing actions that will leave Guyana as a “banana republic.”
During an exclusive interview, Dr. Mangal articulated, “I have already said so much on this topic, am just thoroughly disappointed to see Guyanese politicians continue to sell out the nation, and perpetuate our 50 plus years as a failed state, when instead we always should have been the beacon for the Caribbean.”
Further to this, the former Presidential Advisor noted that most Guyanese politicians seem either self-interested, completely mediocre, or a dangerous combination of both while adding that Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo and his party seems to be “doing their utmost to keep Guyana a banana republic, a country which has no self-respect and accepts crumbs for its crown jewels. But Guyanese voters are ultimately to blame for perpetuating this sad state for decades, and they will be the ones to continue to suffer.”
Also sharing similar sentiments was international lawyer, Melinda Janki. In a brief note, she told this newspaper that it is critical for all to bear in mind that the people of this country were united in insisting that the 2020 elections results which were in PPP/C’s favour, be respected. “Yet, in just a few weeks, the government shows that it is excessively subservient to foreign interests,” the lawyer said. She categorically stated that this does not augur well for Guyana, adding that the PPP/C should not lose sight of the fact that it is the citizenry that voted for them to serve its interest and that of the nation.
On Friday last, Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, had told Kaieteur News that the government and ExxonMobil are very close to signing off on the Payara Field Development Plan.
In fact, he told this newspaper yesterday that the parties involved were working to get it done before the end of the week, pending Cabinet approval. Up to press time, there was no confirmation on whether the deal was wrapped up or not.
Minister Bharrat said that the current agreement has several safeguards in place, two of which include stiff fines for the burning of gas and failure to treat reservoir water before disposing of it into the ocean.
Asked for a ballpark figure of the fines, Minister Bharrat said that this is still being finalized. He was keen to note, however, that the findings of the Payara Field Development review would be released next week.
That exercise was initially started by UK firm, Bayphase Oil and Gas Consultants and continued by former Premier of Alberta, Canada, Alison Redford. The PPP government had said that Redford was hired thanks to a grant from the Canadian High Commission. Her team consisted of the former Deputy Minister of Energy in Newfoundland, Canada; senior
international reservoir engineers; and Mr. Jay Park, Q.C, Managing Partner of Park Energy Law based in Canada and the United Kingdom.
When the review got underway in August, Kaieteur News would have reported that one of the critical issues that stymied swift approval pertained to ExxonMobil’s desire to retain the loopholes it got in the Liza One and Two permits which allow for flaring.
The other matter of concern pertains to the dumping of produced water into the ocean. When oil companies drill the seafloor to extract oil, it is not only oil that comes up with it; water is part of the mixture too. As a result of it not being needed, it is separated and disposed of.
The critical issue is how that disposal is being done. International best practices dictate that this produced water should be re-injected into the earth’s surface. Research conducted by Kaieteur News notes that in some cases, the produced water is discharged into oceans and other offshore water channels. Because no two geographic regions are alike, studies are done to assess the environmental risks of the produced water’s toxicity on marine life before granting approval for the disposal of it into the ocean.
In Guyana’s case, not a single study was done for the Liza Phase One or Two Projects, yet Guyana went full steam ahead with approving the permits for those projects, which allow for the disposal of produced water into the ocean.
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