Mar 31, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – In its update, ExxonMobil yesterday announced that its teams of experts are making final preparations for start-up of the flash gas compressor this week aboard the Liza Destiny Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. This is with aims to restore the flare to background levels.
It has been 15 days since Exxon announced that the reinstallation of the gas compressor begun at the FPSO. Kaieteur News had reached out to ExxonMobil yesterday, requesting details on why the engineers were taking so long to reinstall the gas compressor.
In an email to the oil company’s Governance and Public Affairs Advisor, Janelle Persaud, this publication had indicated that Exxon had surpassed its own eight-week deadline to fully repair and reinstall the equipment, and asked whether the engineers had encountered issues with the installation.
In response, Exxon said that the team offshore has been “carefully and methodically reassembling the various components of the gas compression system, and are now running key instrumentation tests for a successful start-up.”
The company added that throughout this period, ExxonMobil “has sought to strike a balance between safely maintaining production while minimising flaring.”
The company further added, “We have kept relevant government agencies and other stakeholders informed about the progress of the repairs and reinstallation.”
Kaieteur News asked Persaud to share details of how much gas Exxon has flared thus far, but those numbers were not included in yesterday’s update on the gas compressor.
Kaieteur News had calculated that at 16 million cubic feet per day, the company had already flared 176 million cubic feet of natural gas eleven days after announcing that it would be flaring beyond pilot levels in January and that number continues to increase.
Dangers of flaring
Based on research, the flaring of gas is extremely damaging to the environment. A special study conducted by the World Bank 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.
Flaring is also hazardous to human health. Nigerian scientists, Omosivie Maduka and Charles Tobin-West, in a joint paper lodged with the US National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), had explained that flaring in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria has polluted the air and water, and precipitated the formation of acid rain. All of this, they said, has caused negative outcomes in the communities there, including chronic and recurrent respiratory diseases, abnormalities in the blood, increased susceptibility to certain diseases of the blood and others.
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