Oct 23, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – The Yellowtail Project, the fourth to be pursued by ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) in the eastern portion of the Stabroek Block is poised to emit significant amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs) throughout its predicted 20-year life cycle.
According to the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which is being reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EIA), the project’s average annual emissions during production operations is estimated to be between approximately 1.11 and 1.40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalents (CO2e) per year. EEPGL was keen to note that there are no applicable regulatory criteria against which these GHG emissions can be compared.
It noted that in the absence of such standards, it will still endeavour to ensure emissions will be disclosed in accordance with “good international oilfield practice to aid in managing GHG emissions at a national and international level.”
While it did not elaborate on the international practice or guidelines it intends to follow, EEPGL did note that it plans to re-inject recovered natural gas not used as fuel on the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, into the targeted Project reservoirs for reservoir pressure management. It pointed out that this is crucial since it contributes to a significant reduction in potential GHG emissions versus that which would result from continuous gas flaring.
“Accordingly, although the overall emissions at a country level would be increased measurably by Project GHG emissions, net removals would decrease only slightly (i.e., between approximately 2 and 3 percent),” expressed ExxonMobil’s subsidiary in its EIA.
According to the project documents, the Yellowtail Project will consist of drilling approximately 41 to 67 development wells (including production, water injection, and gas re-injection wells); installation and operation of Subsea, Umbilicals, Risers, and Flowlines equipment; installation and operation of a Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) vessel in the eastern half of the Stabroek Block; and— ultimately—project decommissioning.
EEPGL said the FPSO will be designed to produce up to 250,000 barrels of oil per day.
Onshore logistical support facilities and marine/aviation services will be used to support each stage of the Project. EEPGL is expected to use proven and good international oilfield practices. The company said it has incorporated many embedded controls into the overall Project design to reduce environmental and socioeconomic impacts.
The initial production is expected to begin by the end of 2025–early 2026, with operations continuing for at least 20 years. The project is expected to employ up to 540 persons during development well drilling stage, approximately 600 persons at the peak of the installation stage, and 100 to 140 persons during actual production operations.
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