May 11, 2021 News
…as ExxonMobil submits plan to drill up to 55 more wells in Stabroek Block
Kaieteur News – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has received an application from ExxonMobil subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), to drill up to 55 more oil wells in the Stabroek Block and citizens have been given 28 days to consider the environmental impacts from the project.
According to a public notice published by the EPA over the weekend, EEPGL is looking to go ahead with the development of the Yellowtail and Redtail oilfields in the Stabroek Block—a venture that will be utilising a number of offshore and onshore apparatus with the likelihood of potential adverse environmental impacts, hence the public review.
If green-lighted, the ExxonMobil-led project is looking to produce some six million barrels of oil each month, at a production rate of some 250,000 barrels daily, utilising a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel similar to the Liza Destiny.
According to the EPA, the proposed project will be implemented in multiple stages including wells drilling and completions, mobilisation and installation of subsea equipment, installation of a FPSO, production operations, offloading of crude, decommissioning and use of support vessels and helicopters throughout the stages.
Additionally, it was noted that the proposed project will be undertaken in the marine offshore environment within Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and would also utilise land-based support activities such as marine shore bases, fabrication facilities, warehouses, and storage yards.
It was noted that as a result of the intended developmental activities, possible effects on the environment may include impacts to marine water quality, air quality, marine fauna, socio-economic resources, among others.
As such, in keeping with the Environmental Protection Act, “the EPA has determined that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required to be conducted before any decision to approve or reject the proposed project is taken, since this development may significantly impact the environment.”
The notice said that members of the public are as such invited, within 28 days of the notice, to make written submissions setting out “those questions and matters which they require to be answered or considered in the EIA.”
The operator in its application for the EIA consideration, noted that the Yellowtail Project along with the Stabroek Projects, “will contribute positively, directly and indirectly to economic growth in Guyana, including increased national revenues, which will result in increased government investments in public services and infrastructure; local procurement of selected goods and services; increased direct and indirect local employment opportunities; and increased Project and worker spending with beneficial “multiplier” impacts throughout the Project life.”
According to ExxonMobil, the Yellowtail Project—located within Stabroek Block on Guyana’s Continental Shelf—is in the eastern portion of the Stabroek Block, approximately 200 km from Georgetown and southeast of the Stabroek Projects.
The US oil major said, plans include drilling, using floating drill-ships, to produce oil from approximately 45 to 55 wells with production slated to begin at year end in 2025, with an expected field life of at least 20 years.
According to ExxonMobil, the FPSO to be used for the new field developments will be an industrial floating complex that continuously separates produced water and associated gas from the oil.
The anticipated production rate for the FPSO ranges between approximately 34,977 cubic metres (m3) or 220,000 barrels and 39,747 m3 or 250,000 barrels of oil per day and will be capable of storing approximately 317,974 m3 or two million barrels of oil.
According to the company, oil tankers will be scheduled to offload the oil from the FPSO, making the oil available for export to the international market.
The FPSO, according to ExxonMobil, will also process, dehydrate, compress and re-inject associated gases produced from the reservoir.
The company said that as the Yellowtail and Redtail reservoir pressures deplete over time, “this gas reinjection will help maintain the reservoir pressure and allow the most optimum production of hydrocarbons to continue over time.”
According to ExxonMobil, some of the gas will be used as fuel on the FPSO, while “under very unique operational circumstances, some gas may need to be temporarily flared on a non-routine basis.”
Additionally, the FPSO will be used to treat produced water and sea water for cooling and injection into the reservoir for additional pressure maintenance.
According to ExxonMobil, while much of the construction installation activity will be offshore, the Project will also utilise onshore infrastructure, including but not limited to shore bases, warehouses, storage and pipe yards, fabrication facilities, fuel supply facilities and waste management facilities in Guyana.
Such infrastructure, it said, will be used to support the drilling, installation, production operations and decommissioning stages.
The company said too that additional logistical support may be provided by others outside of Guyana, as determined by the Project and that helicopters required for crew changes are to be operated out of the Eugene F. Correia International Airport as is currently being done for exploration drilling and for the Liza Development.
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