Jul 31, 2021 News
Gas-to-Energy 2017 Report…
Kaieteur News – According to the 2017 Energy Narrative ‘Desk Study of the Options, Cost, Economics, Impacts, and Key Considerations of Transporting and Utilising Natural Gas from Offshore Guyana for the Generation of Electricity,’ the dispersed nature of Guyana’s existing power plants raises significant challenges as it relates to distributing the Natural Gas to each power plant. This distribution could be challenging given the dense population and infrastructure in the surrounding area as installing underground pipelines in urban areas will disrupt traffic and may require extensive planning and rights-of-way negotiations, according to the report.
Transporting Natural Gas is a costly and complex undertaking that has most often been moved via pipelines, which take significant investments to develop. This essentially means that gas is often only affordable for domestic markets or nearby neighbours, implying that gas exports often depends on having neighbours that are eager to buy. This however, is not the case with Guyana, as all of our neighbours either have their own sources, like Brazil and Venezuela, or are very small markets, like Suriname and French Guiana.
A more viable option, according to the report, is the transportation of the gas as LNG once it is landed. However, this would cost more than the onshore pipeline option. It was opined that a micro-LNG station and distribution via truck and barge would avoid the potential environmental, economic, and social harm from building pipelines in heavily populated areas and the LNG infrastructure would also be able to reach a wider range of consumers, including hinterland communities.
Converting gas to LNG requires a Natural Gas liquefaction plant, one of the most complex and expensive industrial investments in the world. These plants generally require extensive and highly specialised port infrastructure, massive pipeline complexes and large, expensive systems to cool the gas down to -260 degrees C and pressurise it so that the gas can be packaged for transport on LNG tanker ships. It’s a technologically complex endeavour that takes years to start offering financial returns and can only be done profitably at a massive scale. In the local context, transporting Natural Gas from the production site to the end consumer is traditionally done via pipeline. New technologies, however, including Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), are also being considered.
The Energy Narrative report states that a pipeline is “by far the most economical option to transport Natural Gas onshore … assuming no additional costs are required to obtain land or rights-of-way for the pipeline path.”
The report further states that “It is also the most challenging to implement given the need to negotiate the required rights-of-way, and the potential for construction disruptions and delays. A satellite LNG liquefaction station, coupled with distribution via truck or barge, could be simpler and faster to implement, but would also be more expensive.” Speaking on Compressed Natural Gas, the report stated that “CNG would not be able to supply the volume of Natural Gas needed for any except the smallest of Guyana’s power plants, and so is not viable for this application. CNG could be used for local applications, including fleet vehicles or industrial uses.”
Therefore, the report concludes that a pipeline is the most technically economic option to transport the Natural Gas once it is on shore, but also the most difficult to implement. Should Guyana undertake the construction of a pipeline network to distribute its Natural Gas, it risks the associated potential harm of leaks, ruptures and explosions. Therefore, consideration should be given to oil and gas pipeline accidents that have recently occurred within the past two years in countries with more developed petroleum infrastructure and much better mitigation and hazard responses than Guyana currently has. These can serve as a point of reference to enable a more comprehensive approach to the impending consequences that may stem from the Gas-to-Energy Project’s gas distribution network via pipeline. Below is a list of recent pipeline explosions.
On the 6th July, 2021, Iranian media report that an explosion that started at a pump house in the country’s southwest tore through oil and gas pipelines, killing three people and injuring four more. The Iranian Oil Ministry has initiated an investigation, but has yet to indicate the potential cause of the explosion. Some Western media houses speculate that the blast’s origin could be caused by the country’s aging oil and gas infrastructure, combined with extremely hot weather conditions; however, Iran’s IRNA news agency cited Shush county governor, Adnan Qazi, as blaming the explosion on a gas leak at an oil and gas pipeline station.
On the 29th June, 2021, two people were killed and three injured in a Natural Gas pipeline explosion at an Atmos Energy Facility in Texas, USA. Similarly, a gas pipeline explosion in Central China on June 18th, 2021 killed 25 people, with an initial investigation finding that the company affiliated with China Gas, a gas operator that provides Natural Gas and liquefied petroleum gas, did not strictly perform gas pipeline patrols and checks as required and that there were serious flaws in the operation of related facilities. On the 1st of February, 2021 a section of the Bolivia-Brazil pipeline that supplies a gas-fired power station near the Brazilian city of Cuiaba was hit by a gas explosion over the weekend, with reports of minor injuries but no loss of life. Prior to this, on the 25th January, 2021 in Dalian, a port city in northeast China’s Liaoning Province, three persons were killed and eight others injured after a Natural Gas pipe exploded due to a leakage.
It is noteworthy to state that, according to the Pipeline and Hazard Materials Safety Administration (PHASA) for the United States there have been 137 pipeline accidents in the US for 2020 – 2021 resulting in two fatalities, 13 fires and US $156,000,000 in damages. According to PHASA, over 50 percent of pipeline accidents are caused by equipment failure or failure due to corrosion. This, when coupled with the many pipeline accidents resulting in environmental damage and loss of human life, indicates that the proposed Gas-to-Energy project must be undertaken with the utmost level of care, scrutiny and diligence and must be effectively monitored to prevent ruptures with disastrous consequences. In the absence of this, Guyana risks the occurrence of an event similar in scale and consequences to the offshore gas pipeline, which ruptured and caused a giant fire in the Gulf of Mexico in late June, sending balls of flames bubbling to the water’s surface. Such a phenomenon would undoubtedly have catastrophic effects on the marine and terrestrial environment of Guyana.
Artists’ impression of the Gas-to-Energy plant (GTE).
Sep 20, 2021Kaieteur News – The East Bank Football Association (EBFA), Academy Training Centre (ATC) has received a time boost with two corporate entities on the East Bank Corridor partnering with the...
Sep 20, 2021
Sep 20, 2021
Sep 19, 2021
Sep 19, 2021
Sep 19, 2021
Kaieteur News – There is a part of my theorising on the class structure in Guyana in this column that is going to be... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders The public health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has rightly focused the attention and... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]